Please listen to the WYPR radio program below ----David Warnock is a local Venture Capitalist and Wall Street Baltimore Development citizen and is indeed tied to the Venture Capitalist global education startup Wes Moore is promoting. Warnock has his own national charter chain in the works with GREEN ACADEMY. So everything on this WYPR/NPR programming will be about building US cities deemed International Economic Zones into global city states. AND IT WILL BE ALL ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE POOR AND LABOR!
Sadly for black citizens these kinds of programming are targeted and marketed to underserved communities and this is why our low-income citizens--black, brown, and white ---are never able to receive the REAL information they need to be citizens.
Wes Moore has all those ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNMENT CREDS====
Baltimore's Future: Wes Moore
By David Warnock • Aug 13, 2015
Baltimore's Future with David Warnock
'After High School, Moore graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Valley Forge Military College, a Junior College in Pennsylvania. He went on to attend Johns Hopkins University and graduated in 2001. Immediately after, he attended Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar where he earned a master's degree in International Relations'.
Baltimore's Future: Wes Moore
By David Warnock • Aug 13, 2015
Baltimore's Future with David Warnock
David talks with Wes Moore, author and Founder and CEO of BridgeEdU. Wes visited with David and talked about his new book.
Wes founded BridgeEdU to become a better onramp to higher education and career preparedness. By providing an innovative path to higher education excellence, BridgeEdU aims to engage scholars in a new way while democratizing the pathway to college completion.
Baltimore and Maryland were ground zero for last decade's for-profit higher education frauds and as we have discussed these corporate K-12 national charter chains have already been identified as full of fraud. The post above shows the 5% to the 1% promoting more and more of the same.
When a city/county school board is stacked with corporate education appointments as in Baltimore with the citizens shouting loudly to stop all the misappropriation of public education funds ----we see all kinds of dancing between a corrupt city council and school board in the attempts to PRETEND they are trying to do something. I haven't followed Howard County's School Board as much as Baltimore and Baltimore County but it is likely these K-12 school boards are under attack by the same global corporate neo-liberal education reforms being pushed by CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA.
This is how ridiculous it has become in Maryland and Baltimore----the corruption is so bad there is no way for citizens to get real audits and data and what we will eventually hear is that there is no need to try -----that is when the US has become completely third world.
THE REAL SOLUTION WHICH LEFT-LEANING EDUCATION GROUPS WOULD BE DOING----CITIZENS CAN AUDIT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING AND PROGRAMS---WE NEED CITIZEN GROUPS NOT TIED TO WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT TO DO THESE AUDITS.
It is a real concern from where these auditing corporations are coming because we know we are not getting REAL information from audits by captured corporations. Our educators are under attack and too often bad data is being used to install this new global corporate neo-liberal replacement for teaching professionals.
County audit of school system stalled
The county’s financial audit of the Howard County Public School System is stalled, according to the county’s auditor. (Fatimah Waseem)
Fatimah WaseemContact Reporterfwaseem@baltsun.com
County auditor: "I've asked to be treated like every other audit."
Howard County Council Chairman Calvin Ball threatened possible legal action against the school system in early September to push officials to comply with the auditor's requests.
Last week, Ball said the school system provided requested documents. But on Monday, the county's auditor, Craig Glendenning, told the council the school system said there "will be no space available to do an audit." The auditor's office has not received a response to its requests for access from the school system since Sept. 15.
County solicitor says school budget review committee does not violate state law The school system, in return, requested information about the auditor's previous audits, accounting permits and other documentation.
'Council legal counsel: School oversight committee doesn't violate state law'.
For those citizens in regions of the nation NOT yet caught in these MICHELLE RHEE global corporate neo-liberal privatization of K-12 public schools ---Baltimore as usual is ground zero for vocationally tracked corporate K-12----look at how the far-right is deregulating and breaking down what was first the Federal education policies around K-12 that included equal protection and solid, broad course curricula---now they are going after school boards and creating committees that circumvent what is our state education structures. Below we see a disagreement stemming from Wall Street corporate players using the COMMITTEE approach ----as we see in all our public agencies-----that committee is then appointed by those executives we cannot get out of office. Our public service commission ---public works commission----our economic development all turned quasi-governmental before they became completely controlled by now global corporations and Wall Street.
THAT IS WHAT THIS PUSH TOWARDS CREATING A 'COMMITTEE' THAT PROVIDE OVERSIGHTS AND POLICY SUGGESTIONS IS ABOUT.
Keep in mind, there are no good players right now in our Maryland Public Education system---the entire administration is corrupted ---it is our teachers, our community schools, parents, and students having no voice ----who are being locked out.
IF A PUBLIC AGENCY HAS ALLOWED ITSELF TO BECOME TOO CORRUPT TO BE TRUSTED ---IT IS WORKING FOR ITS OWN DISMANTLEMENT----and that is what we see here.
As we know-----the corruption of all state and local government data happens because these same county council members do not have a public structure within each public school with checks and balances to assure all the data is real---it is this lack of an entire middle-management in our city schools----because they were fired these few decades ---that then opens all this discussion on who will replace that centuries-old standard of internal checks and balances.
The county/city officials creating that dismantled oversight and accountability are now pushing for yet another COMMITTEE for oversight...same thing that happened with our public works, public services, and our economic development---now happening to our public education and public health as they take all appointments corporate.
'Ball's proposal, which will be considered on July 8, creates a committee with representation from the council, the county executive and community groups, to review the school system's budget and recommend improvements to next year's budget.
Board chairwoman Christine O'Connor, who in late May said the proposal to create the review committee attempts to "undermine" the board's independence and "politicize education as never before," said this week the board looks forward to working closely with the council.
"The school system is already audited multiple times," O'Connor added in a statement'.
County solicitor says school budget review committee does not violate state law
Last month, educators and community members pushed the school system to maintain negotiated salary raises. Now, the focus is on a new budget oversight committee to help advise the council on the school system's budget.
Fatimah WaseemContact Reporter
Howard County Times
#HoCoMd Council legal counsel: School oversight committe doesn't violate state law.
The Howard County Council's legal counsel said Monday a committee proposed by Council Chairman Calvin Ball to review the school system's budget does not violate state law, rebutting statements by the school system's attorney who said the committee oversteps the council's authority and compromises the school system's independence from the county government.
Ball's proposal, which will be considered on July 8, creates a committee with representation from the council, the county executive and community groups, to review the school system's budget and recommend improvements to next year's budget. The proposal caps a contentious budget season during which the county government did not fund roughly $50 million of the school system's record high request this year.
Jim Vannoy, the senior assistant county solicitor of Howard County's Office of Law, said the legislation does not give the committee any authority over the superintendent and the Board of Education. The committee, which is purely advisory to the council, also does not require the board to take any specific steps.
Ball said Vannoy's legal advice was important to address recent statements made by school system officials.
"In listening to the board and superintendent's attorney, I just wanted to purposefully clarify some things," said Ball.
In a meeting earlier this month, Leslie Stellman, an attorney contracted by the school system, said the "county's fiscal authority" through the committee would erode the board's "immunity as a state agency."
Howard school leadership pressed to 'stand with educators' at crowded hearing At a public hearing Monday, the proposal, which includes a financial audit of the school system by the council's auditing office, drew support from residents who reiterated coined terms that have become common vernacular at open meetings related to the school system: transparency and accountability.
This year's budget process put the council in an "untenable position" due to "lack of information or trust" in the school system, said Joshua Kaufman, who was a member a
nd county school board chairman of the board from 2003 to 2006.
Residents acclaimed the committee as a welcome replacement for the school system's own operating budget review committee, which the board disbanded two years ago after questions about its effectiveness. An internal audit by the school system following the suspension found the committee was inconsistent with the board's policy and direction.
Kittleman fully funds salary increases, special education as school system warns of looming health fund deficit
Many recommendations in the last three years were "not viable or had already been recommended," according to the audit, which concluded the board should rely on other methods to engage the public instead of relying on a committee that was not "a prevailing practice" in other jurisdictions.
Since suspending the budget review committee, the board has created new opportunities for public feedback, in addition to submitted and oral testimony, including an annual guide on the superintendent's budget, televised and online explanations of the budget and a new budget survey which garnered more than 1,000 responses, according to John White, the school system's spokesman.
Christina Delmont-Small, who is running for a seat on the board and served as co-chairwoman of the school's budget review committee, said as a committee member she witnessed "the school system's reluctance" and "downright refusal" to provide information necessary to analyze the budget.
"The school system continues to hold all the cards," she said.
While residents lauded the council's proposed committee as a step in the right direction, Paul Lemle, president of the Howard County Education Association, cautioned the success of the committee, if approved, was contingent on access to data from the school board.
DO CITIZENS LAUDING THE COUNCIL'S PROPOSED COMMITTEE KNOW IT IS CREATING YET ANOTHER QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY THAT WILL IGNORE THEM MORE THAN THIS CORRUPT PUBLIC AGENCY?
The union has not received information requested from the school system in early May related to health claims, which may prompt the union to file a grievance claim against the school system, Lemle said.
Board chairwoman Christine O'Connor, who in late May said the proposal to create the review committee attempts to "undermine" the board's independence and "politicize education as never before," said this week the board looks forward to working closely with the council.
"The school system is already audited multiple times," O'Connor added in a statement.
The council will meet with the school board at a quarterly meeting at 8:30 a.m on July 6. The council will consider the legislation at its meeting at 7 p.m. on July 8.
Back to the first article where Wes Moore and David Warnock are promoting global for-profit universities and K-12=====as we see the break down of public K-12 oversight into what will become a quasi-governmental committee filled with Wall Street corporate appointments---we see David Warnock the venture capitalist PRETENDING its all about the low-income kids working to break down another Federal and State Administrative structure----the fact that our public schools have districts tied ti city/county boundaries.
'Council legal counsel: School oversight committee doesn't violate state law'.
We have always called our public schools------Baltimore City Public Schools----Howard County Public Schools ---and control for those schools was balanced between state and city. What Warnock and Wall Street education privatizers are trying to do is allow a GREEN STREET ACADEMY 'PUBLIC' CHARTER EXPAND UNDER THAT 'PUBLIC' MISNOMER TO ANY COUNTY IN MARYLAND. This is the dismantling of education regulations needed to allow a national charter chain to expand all over first the state ----and then across state borders to go national.
The importance here is that what are clearly corporate charter schools want to remain 'public' so they can use Federal, state, and local public school funding while expanding their brands nationally and globally. This is what happened to our public universities last decade----they went from having a student population geared towards local and state citizen students----to recruiting students nationally---and now globally all with our Federal, state, and local funding for our public universities----now they are basically corporate ----not public universities.
THIS IS WHAT WALL STREET PLAYERS ARE NOW DOING TO OUR PUBLIC K-12-----AND THESE SINGLE-ISSUES ONE BY ONE DOES THIS.
Forming quasi-governmental committees while trying to say a corporate charter that expands statewide and then nationally is PUBLIC.
To watch as our once great public media is reduced to lying, cheating, and stealing promotion is truly a crisis in our democratic education and information sourcing.
Innovation & Job News
Green Street Academy Plots Expansion
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Green Street Academy, a Baltimore City public school, will more than double enrollment and relocate to a new home to accommodate the expanded student population.
That's according to Green Street Co-founder and Chairman David Warnock who calls the academy a "transformation" school. Warnock says that means it operates within the public school system and is funded by the Baltimore City school system, along with $500,000 from corporate sponsors and private donors. The city school system also provides administrative and janitorial services, unlike a charter school that operates totally independent of the school system.
Besides the standard academic studies, the academy focuses on the environment and sustainability. “We use the green economy to inspire kids. We work with our corporate and private partners to create real world skills,” says Warnock.
The academy opened in fall of 2011 with 270 middle school students in grades 6, 7 and 8. In fall 2013, it will add a 9th grade and a 6th grade class, turning it into a combined middle/high school. When fully built out, Warnock expects the school to have about 700 students. Acceptance is by lottery.
“We will follow the students through high school,” Warnock says.
The academy is currently housed in a public school building, the former West Baltimore Middle School, on North Bend Road. To accommodate the increased enrollment, Warnock is searching for a new, larger home, preferably on the city's west side. He expects to move within the next two years. Warnock is raising money for the new home but declined to give a figure.
To showcase their skills, academy students are hosting an expo June 6-8 for parents, sponsors and community members. Energy and environmentally focused businesses will give demonstrations, sponsored by Accenture. Chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen will give a cooking demonstration from the academy’s own tilapia farm (in the school basement). Students will race the electric vehicles they’ve built, sponsored by Constellation Energy.
Source: David Warnock, Green Street Academy
Writer: Barbara Pash
Here we have our Baltimore Sun education news reporters who will not connect those dots I just showed above with Warnock/Wes Moore and promoting global corporate education. They will not open the discussion on how PARCC scores will be used in the future if these global corporate neo-liberal education policies are installed. PARCC will of course be used to create that tiering and tracking of students into corporate schools and they are an assessment of a corporate charter competing on Wall Street for market share.
The citizens of Maryland have always gotten a raw deal on public education policy from funding to quality of education policy----Maryland citizens have shouted for decades the lack of rigor was harming children's ability to be competitive. It was never the child's fault---often not the teachers' fault-----it was the education policy installed in classrooms and it was the constant push to provide A's and B's to elevate Maryland in national education testing scores. As always Maryland tries to market its brand as best while creating policy that is the worst. While Education Week ranks Maryland #1 we see the Maryland Assessments were always some of the weakest in the nation----but Maryland is #1 in building global corporate K-UNIVERSITY
'The PARCC exams are considerably more rigorous than the Maryland School Assessment tests they replaced in 2015'.
The problem for our Maryland students going from the weakest assessment to a strong assessment is---it takes time to build those learning skills left undeveloped for decades. We want the rigor-----we do not want PARCC used to track and tier our students in what will be corporate campus schools.
'Scores on the PARCC give educators a window into how well students are learning, but they don’t count yet for students or school systems'.
Maryland to release district-level PARCC scores
Liz Bowie and Erica L. GreenContact Reporters
The Baltimore Sun
PARCC results will be released statewide Tuesday, showing how Maryland students perform on standardized test.Maryland education officials are expected to release data Tuesday morning showing how public school students did on the state’s annual standardized test.
The new test data will show the district and school level scores. Statewide results on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers were released last month showing a modest gain in math and flat scores in English.
The PARCC was given last spring in grades three through eight, and in algebra and english in high school.
The PARCC exams are considerably more rigorous than the Maryland School Assessment tests they replaced in 2015.
Scores on the PARCC give educators a window into how well students are learning, but they don’t count yet for students or school systems. The state is currently revamping its school accountability system under the new federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act.
'Ten Things to Know About the New
K-12 PARCC Assessments'
To understand PARCC one has to remember that before CLINTON era our public K-12 had that PARCC level of rigor----our K-12 students graduated with a broad, quality education that allowed most students to pursue vocational or academic higher education or simply enter the workforce. Testing our students for progress or weaknesses is not bad. It is the goals of these policies that ARE bad.
We see below where PARCC guidelines clearly state these are internationally benchmarked learning standards---COMMON CORE is that international education curricula to which PARCC will be tied.
'to see how well students are achieving under new, more rigorous and internationally benchmarked learning
standards in English language arts (ELA) and math'.
Here we see PARCC guidelines telling us these scores will be used to create a MORE EFFICIENT path to vocation----and that indeed will be the tiered tracking with apprenticeship at 6th grade vs apprenticeships at 9th grade----with our high school grades turning into community college degree ---HOW EFFICIENT IS THAT?
'The PARCC supports efforts to provide
more efficient path to a college degree and career skills'.
For US citizens thinking sending children off to work at young ages as was done before child labor laws of last century is not a bad thing----we see the Rifleman on TV speaking about how children often left school in 8th grade-----female students often left after grade 6 for example. The life for children in a global industrial economy is not what work was in early America. Working for one's parents building a business is far different than being sent off to support families in deep poverty to global factories. These are third world societal structures and we do not want to return to extreme wealth and extreme poverty driving our American citizens' futures.
Ten Things to Know About the New
K-12 PARCC Assessments
Kindergarten teachers through college-level professors from across the country, including Illinois, helped develop the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments to see how well students are achieving under new, more rigorous and internationally benchmarked learning standards in English language arts (ELA) and math.
The PARCC assessment is administered to all third- through eighth-graders and some high school students in Illinois public schools.
The PARCC assessments measure a broad range of knowledge and skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking, that are essential for success. The PARCC assessments also measure writing at all grade levels, a valuable indicator of college and career readiness and a skill that was only assessed intermittently and for certain grade levels on previous state tests.
The PARCC assessments emphasize rigor, depth and application of knowledge –not just rote memorization. Performance-based exercises and technology-enhanced features yield more information than what was generated through previous state tests.
The PARCC assessments provide a clear marker to show if students are on track for college and career, contributing to statewide efforts to support students’ education from cradle to career.
PARCC tests represent the first K-12 coherent assessments and replaced the Illinois Standard Achievement Test and the Prairie State Achievement Examination, which were used for more than a decade but were not aligned to one another, resulting in a disconnect that showed a greater portion of elementary students than high school students meeting state standards.
Now Illinois students will face consistent and high expectations at each grade level, giving parents and educators more accurate and timely information to intervene and determine
whether students need remediation or more advanced instruction.
Staying on track for college and career means saving money. The PARCC supports efforts to provide a more efficient path to a college degree and career skills. We know that when students can start their postsecondary education in college credit-bearing courses, they’re more likely to graduate. A 2011
national report shows 56 percent of students nationwide earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. That falls to 35 percent when we look at students who have taken remedial courses.
'Why not? In a word, because singling out advanced students for special coursework involves tracking'
Brookings Institution is the far-right global neo-liberal think tank that has written neo-liberal policy for several decades. This is how an academic KNOWS what goals 1% Wall Street global pols have with policy. The American people are still focused on Congressional policy being about US citizens and have not adopted that the goals are global ONE WORLD. When WE THE PEOPLE speak of education policy using terms with which Americans are familiar----terms like ADVANCED PLACEMENT AND EXCEPTIONAL have US parents thinking old-school public school measures.
If we look at that bell curve showing most students are average----and the small percentage on each side of that curve failing or advanced we know that the percentage of American students tracked into what will be strong 4 year universities-----IVY LEAGUE will be the only schools being that strong university---will be small. Add to that the fact that global IVY LEAGUES will be recruiting and accepting global students and VOILA---American students have such competition ----what was strong public education K-12 will be limited for a few percent of citizens. What is the number of advanced placement today in a US high school does not consider how that US high school advanced placement student competes globally.
This article acts as though black and brown students will be the ones at risk but WHITE CITIZENS must WAKE UP---because there will be no racial preference to BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD. Having our US citizens competing against one another under US Constitutional equal protection, opportunity, and access provides far more opportunity to excel than competing globally.
Citizens in all nations want the best education structures in their own nations----it is as important to global citizens to keep their sovereign rights in education.
NO ONE WANTS TO BE A COG IN A GLOBAL LABOR POOL!
Tracking and Advanced Placement
Tom Loveless Thursday, March 24, 2016
This section presents a time-lagged analysis of the relationship between tracking—the practice of assigning students to different academic classes based on prior achievement—in eighth grade and two later outcomes related to the Advanced Placement program (AP): participation rates and successful performance on AP tests in high school. The theory motivating the analysis is that academically advanced students may gain long term benefits from accelerated coursework in middle school. Just as star high school athletes do not walk onto a basketball court or football field for the first time as seniors in high school, successful AP calculus students do not encounter advanced mathematics for the first time in 12th grade.
Preparation matters. In communities across the country, pipelines are in place to nurture and develop promising young athletes. Not so with academic stars. Why not? In a word, because singling out advanced students for special coursework involves tracking. Accelerated or honors courses, offering above grade level curricula to students who are ready for it, typically start in middle school. They allow high-achieving youngsters to move at a faster pace than their grade level peers.
But tracking is controversial. By definition, it involves differentiating students in terms of their skills and knowledge. Black, Hispanic, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students are historically underrepresented in accelerated tracks. As such, the charge that tracking discriminates against these students has shaped the frequency of its use across different communities. Tracking is more prevalent in suburban middle class communities and in schools serving white and Asian students and less prevalent in urban schools and schools serving predominantly black, Hispanic, or disadvantaged populations.
Whether middle school tracking is associated with AP outcomes is a timely question. Recent research on tracking that employs techniques to minimize selection bias and other shortcomings of previous research, has documented examples of tracking being used to promote equity. AP classes, along with the International Baccalaureate program, represent the pinnacle of advanced coursework in U.S. high schools. They are the end of the pipeline preparing academically gifted students for college. Boosting access to AP classes for groups historically underrepresented in AP is a key element of the contemporary equity agenda for high schools. In opposition to these trends, tracking’s critics remain steadfast. The advent of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) may furnish critics with a politically powerful shield for dismantling tracking in middle schools (see the study of Common Core in this issue).
In the 1970s, the charge that tracking produces discriminatory social effects rose to public awareness just as tracking itself was changing. Since the early 20th century, curriculum differentiation occurred by assigning students to tracks that encompassed all academic subjects. The names of tracks vaguely denoted post-secondary destinations, with “college prep,” “vocational,” and “general” being the most common labels. Students were assigned to tracks based on IQ tests measuring general aptitude or achievement tests measuring prior learning. By the 1970s, tracking had changed. Omnibus tracking was replaced by subject-specific assignment to courses (i.e., students simultaneously could be placed in remedial reading and a higher level math class), IQ testing fell into disfavor, and parents increasingly could override schools’ initial placement and demand a different track if they wanted more or less challenge for their children than schools recommended.
The anti-tracking movement gained steam in the 1990s. It had little effect on high schools, but middle schools were another story.
IT'S NO COINCIDENCE THAT THE 1990S IS WHEN OUR PUBLIC K-12 WAS EXPERIENCING THE WORST OF DEFUNDING AND LACK OF RESOURCES. THIS IS WHY ANTI-TRACKING GAINED STEAM.
The changes did not reduce the attacks on tracking. In 1985, Jeannie Oakes’ “Keeping Track” was published. Oakes acknowledged that tracking had changed but dismissed the modifications as trivial. Schools, Oakes charged, were still systematically denying kids opportunity in ways that correlated with race and class. Oakes built her critique on the theories of Marxian analysts Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, whose 1976 book, “Schooling in Capitalist America,” argued that schools are structured with the intention to reproduce social inequalities. Despite its ideological underpinnings, the tracking critique drew surprising support across the political spectrum. In What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know?, two former members of the Reagan and Bush administrations respectively, Checker Finn and Diane Ravitch single out tracking as a cause of students’ poor performance on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests of history and literature.
The anti-tracking movement gained steam in the 1990s. It had little effect on high schools, but middle schools were another story. Across the country, middle schools began paring back tracking, especially in English-language arts, science, and history. By the end of the decade, a majority of middle school students attended heterogeneously grouped classes in those subjects.[4 ]Math classes remained tracked, but with fewer levels—typically just one level offering algebra and one level offering pre-algebra or a general eighth grade math course. The frequency of tracking in academic subjects remains similar today.
Recent research on tracking and equity
A challenge to research on the effects of tracking has been adequately controlling for selection effects. In this case, the term “selection effect” refers to the nonrandom assignment of students to tracks. High- and low-track students are assigned to their respective tracks because of different amounts of prior learning and the anticipation of different amounts of future learning. To discover that high-track students learn more than low-track students may simply be an extension of how the students were “selected” into respective tracks in the first place and may have nothing to do with tracking itself. In addition, schools do not make policy choices randomly, and they may have decided to track or to heterogeneously group students for reasons related to achievement.
Recent research indicates that high-achieving students may benefit from tracking.
Experiments in which students are randomly assigned to tracked and untracked settings are rare. In 2005, an experiment in Kenya could be conducted because schools were granted extra funds to hire first grade teachers. More than a hundred schools (121) had only one first grade teacher, and the new money allowed the addition of a second teacher. The schools were randomly assigned to either a tracked or untracked condition. In the tracked schools, one of the classes was made up of higher achievers, the other of lower achievers. Students were placed in either the higher- or lower-achieving class based on whether they scored above or below the median for all students. Students in the untracked schools were assigned to the two classes randomly, creating classes heterogeneous in ability.
The experiment ran for 18 months. Both high- and low-achievers in the tracked schools gained more on achievement tests compared to students in the untracked schools. The benefit for students in higher-achieving classes was 0.19 standard deviations and for those in the lower-achieving classes,0.16 standard deviations.
Conditions that allow for experiments are quite unique, so analysts have also used quasi-experimental designs to evaluate tracking. Takako Nomi investigated a 1997 policy in Chicago that abolished remedial math classes in ninth grade and created mixed-ability algebra classes in their place. Employing an interrupted time-series design and difference-in-differences analysis, Nomi found that high achievers paid a price for abandoning tracking in favor of heterogeneously grouped classes. An analysis of class composition using instrumental variables indicated that peer effects were driving much of the effect. A one standard deviation decline in peer skills was associated with about a one-quarter standard deviation decline in high achievers’ test scores.
David N. Figlio and Marianne E. Page (2000) also used an instrumental variable strategy to isolate the effects of tracking. They found that wealthier families consider whether a school tracks when making enrollment decisions. After controlling for those parental decisions, Figlio and Page found that disadvantaged students benefitted from tracking, contradicting the notion that abolishing tracking promotes equity. As they put it, “…tracking programs are associated with test score gains for students in the bottom third of the initial test score distribution. We conclude that the move to end tracking may harm the very students it is intended to help.”
Chao Fu and Nirav Mehta (2015) looked at tracking using data from the Early Childhood Longtitudinal Study, a large national database. In contrast to Figlio and Page, they found a trade-off, with tracking benefitting high-ability students and hurting low-ability students. Defining low- and high-ability students in the same manner as the study in Kenya (above and below the median of achievement), Fu and Mehta’s model predicts that de-tracking would raise the test scores of low-achieving students by 0.04 standard deviations and depress high-achievers’ scores by 0.05 standard deviations.
David Card and Laura Giuliano (2014) studied the effects of gifted classes in a large Eastern school district. The district had mandated that schools with even a single gifted student (most of whom were identified by IQ tests) must provide separate gifted classes in fourth and fifth grades, with open seats in these classes filled by high achievers—the school’s highest performers on the annual state assessment. The policy dramatically increased the proportion of disadvantaged students in the gifted classes to about 40 percent districtwide. The researchers found significant positive effects for high achievers in the program, in particular for low-income black and Hispanic students. Card and Giuliano concluded, “Our findings suggest that a comprehensive tracking program that establishes a separate classroom in every school for the top-performing students could significantly boost the performance of the most talented students in even the poorest neighborhoods, at little or no cost to other students or the District’s budget.”
In sum, recent research indicates that high-achieving students may benefit from tracking and suffer losses from heterogeneous grouping. The studies have primarily assessed achievement effects from one to two years of attending high tracks. The following study takes a longer perspective and examines outcomes at the end of high school that may be associated with tracking in eighth grade.
The analysis below examines data from the national cohort of students who were eighth graders in 2009 and graduated from high school in 2013. Data on eighth grade tracking come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The percentage of students attending schools with tracked eighth grade math classes, aggregated to the state level, serves as a proxy for middle school tracking practices. Data on AP participation and performance come from the “Tenth Annual AP Report to the Nation.” As with the NAEP data, state-level data are used in the analysis. AP participation refers to the percentage of each state’s public high school graduates who took at least one AP exam during high school. AP performance represents the percentage of each state’s AP test takers who scored a three or better on at least one test. That is the typical threshold that colleges and universities require for granting college credit.
The following study examines outcomes at the end of high school that may be associated with tracking in eighth grade.
The data possess several limitations. Tracking practices are modeled using information from only one subject. Math is the most commonly tracked subject in middle schools, but using data from other subjects might yield different results. Taking an AP test is not the same as taking an AP course. Some students take AP courses but do not sit for the AP exam. Students are counted as AP participants if they took an AP exam at any point in their high school careers. Students who took multiple AP tests only count as one test taker in the data, and the count of students scoring three or higher (3+) are those who did so on any single AP test, regardless of their scores on other AP tests.
The initial research question this study examines is: Were state tracking practices for eighth graders in 2009 related to AP outcomes in 2013? A question pertinent to equity will also be explored: Do the results vary by race? AP outcomes for black, Hispanic, and white students are scrutinized.
Table 2-1 displays the study’s data, with summary statistics reported in the bottom rows. The state average for AP participation in 2013 was 29 percent, meaning that for the typical state almost three out of 10 graduates in the class of 2013 had taken an AP exam at some point during their high school years. Participation rates ranged from a low of 13 percent in Mississippi to a high of 56 percent in the District of Columbia. In the average state, more than half (58 percent) of students who had taken an AP exam earned a score of three or higher. The lowest 3+ rate was registered by the District of Columbia (25 percent) and the highest by New Hampshire (76 percent), suggesting a possible trade-off between heightened access to AP and selectivity. As just mentioned, D.C.’s participation rate was the highest in the country; New Hampshire ranked 35th.
Tracking is significantly correlated with performance on AP tests.
The contrast is merely suggestive. The data do not allow for one to tease out whether access and selectivity are inversely related. Trade-offs made by educators at the school or district levels may be masked by aggregating data to the state level. Further research is needed using school or district data, collected, in other words, at the policymaking level where AP offerings are decided.
The popularity of tracking in eighth grade math is evident. The average state tracked about three-quarters of its math students, with Arkansas the least tracked state (50 percent) and Nevada the most tracked (97 percent). The percentage of eighth graders scoring at the “advanced” performance level on the 2009 NAEP math test is included as a control variable. Notice how stringent the NAEP advanced level is. The average state has only about 7 percent of eighth graders scoring at this level. Prior achievement is an important covariate in any model predicting academic outcomes, whether the outcomes of interest are measured at the individual, school, or state level. Considering the current study’s focus on high achievers, a state’s percentage of students reaching the NAEP advanced level is an appropriate control. States that had a lot of high-achieving eighth graders in 2009 probably also had a lot of high-achieving high school graduates in 2013—and that will surely influence the AP outcome variables. The final column shows the percentage of children in poverty for each state.
Table 2-2 reports correlation coefficients for the relationship of eighth grade tracking to AP outcomes. Correlations are also reported for AP outcomes disaggregated by race and ethnicity. Eighth grade tracking shows no statistically significant relationship with AP participation. The percentage of a state’s graduating class that has taken an AP test is unrelated statistically with the amount of tracking going on four years earlier. Tracking is significantly correlated with performance on AP tests, and the positive relationship holds for the performance of black, Hispanic, and white subgroups.
The positive relationship holds for the performance of black, Hispanic, and white subgroups.
States with larger percentages of tracked eighth graders produce larger percentages of high-scoring AP test takers. States where tracking is less prevalent tend to have a smaller proportion of high scorers. Highly tracked states with an above average share of 3+ AP scorers include: California (88 percent tracked), Colorado (91 percent), Connecticut (90 percent), Maryland (94 percent), Minnesota (87 percent), and Utah (89 percent). States with sparser eighth grade tracking and a below average proportion of high-scoring AP students include: Delaware (64 percent tracked), District of Columbia (63 percent), Louisiana (54 percent), Mississippi (52 percent), and Texas (57 percent).
The significantly positive correlations for black and Hispanic high performers on AP are important for equity considerations. Two sets of figures are presented. The adjusted correlations were calculated after dropping states with fewer than 50 AP participants. The number of black AP test takers fell below that criterion in eight states; for Hispanics, the shortfall occurred in four states. All states had at least 50 white AP tests takers, which is why adjusted figures for whites are not presented. States with small numbers of participants may produce unstable AP scores. AP has dramatically increased the participation of black and Hispanic students in the past decade—and continues to push for greater participation—so the adjusted figures are probably better indicators of future statistical relationships.
Let’s consider the pipeline hypothesis, the idea that eighth grade tracking offers high achieving students an opportunity for acceleration that can pay off in high school. The current study cannot test the causal claims of the hypothesis, but the findings do support further research on the topic. States with a larger percentage of kids scoring 3 or better on AP tests in 2013 had a larger percentage of kids in tracked classes four years earlier. That association occurs without any apparent increase in selectivity. The relationship of tracking with AP participation is indistinguishable from zero. Moreover, the finding holds for black, Hispanic, and white subgroups. If eighth grade tracking operates in a manner discriminatory to blacks and Hispanics, it is not apparent here. The sign of the correlation for Hispanic participation in AP tests is negative, however; and even though the value doesn’t reach statistical significance, it should be investigated further with more precise data and hierarchical models that can tease out state, district, and school effects.
Regression analysis is useful for parsing out the influence that confounding variables may exercise in making two variables appear correlated when they in fact are not. Table 2-3 exhibits regression output controlling for two potential confounders. Tracking in eighth grade maintains a significantly positive relationship with later AP performance even while controlling for states’ advanced achievement on NAEP and level of child poverty.[11 ]As expected, both control variables are also statistically significantly associated with AP performance. Neither regression nor correlation coefficients are sufficient to determine causality.
To put the tracking coefficient in simpler terms, an increase of 10 percentage points in 8th grade tracking is associated with a two percentage point increase in high performing AP students. That effect is equivalent to about 0.18 standard deviations. The increase associated with boosting tracking by ten percentage points is over 1,300 additional high scoring AP students in New York and more than 2,000 in Texas. Nationally, a ten percentage point increase in eighth grade tracking is associated with an additional 20,000 students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams.
This section of the Brown Center Report examined the relationship of eighth grade tracking in 2009 with two AP outcomes in 2013: participation and high performance on AP tests. State level data were analyzed. No association was found between the percentage of a state’s students who were tracked in eighth grade mathematics and—four years later–the percentage of graduating seniors who had taken an AP test. A positive relationship was found between tracking and superior performance on AP tests, the percentage of test takers scoring a 3 or better on AP tests. The positive relationship was statistically significant for white, black, and Hispanic students.
The analysis cannot prove or disprove that tracking caused the heightened success on AP tests. The findings do support future research on the hypothesis that tracking benefits high achieving students—in particular, high achieving students of color—by offering accelerated coursework that they would not otherwise get in untracked schools. That hypothesis is supported by several recent studies, as described above, including that of David Card and Laura Giuliano (2014).
The hypothesis that middle school tracking is associated with AP outcomes rests on the notion of an academic pipeline—that superior academic performance must be nurtured and developed over time. Think of how the following three phenomena coalesce to shape opportunity. First, students are assigned to tracks primarily based on achievement test scores. Because of the test score gaps between white and Asian students, on the one hand, and black and Hispanic students, on the other hand, honors classes or tracks designed to accelerate students often are demographically unrepresentative of their schools. That fact has invited severe criticism. Second, in accordance with political opposition, schools in communities serving large numbers of black and Hispanic students tend to shun tracking. Accelerated classes are less likely to exist for students of color. Third, much of the research on tracking has found that students in high tracks benefit academically from separate, accelerated coursework. Researchers believe that high-track students receive a boost from exposure to academically-oriented peers, teachers trained in acceleration, and a challenging curriculum.
These three phenomena combine to limit opportunity for black and Hispanic youngsters. If tracking and accelerated coursework in eighth grade represent the beginning of a pipeline for promising young stars in mathematics or literature, that opportunity is more open to white and Asian students in suburban schools than to disadvantaged youngsters in schools serving students of color.
AP courses represent the end of the pipeline for academically gifted students. If we are serious about expanding opportunity, and serious about increasing the numbers of students of color who not only take AP courses but also score extraordinarily well on AP tests, policymakers need to take another look at strategies for nurturing academic talent in middle schools. Long condemned by political opponents, tracking has been overlooked as a potential tool for promoting equity.