November 22, 2011

Tracking - Shades of Not-So-Awesome

I have arrived at a new school that has an old structure in the math department. We track our math students both by age and supposedly by "ability," starting in 8th grade. There are two levels of math for each age group, the "normal" and the "advanced," yet 90% of the student body are in the supposed advanced class. Added to this pedagogical flashback is the fact that we offer scholarships to high achieving local kids (we're private). We pull some of these kids out of fancy math and science schools only to put them in "9th grade math." We match them with like-aged students not in a class that might challenge these gifted and motivated kids. The result is many shades of not-so-awesome.

While slow to start the wheels of change are beginning to turn. The conversation of how our math program should be shaped is beginning...

So how would you do it? If you could have your choice of how to organize math classes grades 6 and up, how would you do it?

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