On the Same Track: How Schools Can Join the Twenty-First-Century Struggle Against Resegregation

Carol Corbett Burris, Author
Carol Corbett Burris. Beacon, $25.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8070-3297-8
Reviewed on: 12/23/2013
Release date: 03/18/2014
Ebook - 119 pages - 978-0-8070-3298-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-90899-3
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-8070-3690-7
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This well-researched, concise book by public school principal Burris (coauthor of Detracking for Excellence and Equity) makes a strong argument against "tracking"—the hierarchical division of students based on their perceived academic potential. Despite evidence suggesting that blended classrooms result in improved performance across all spectrums, detracking remains controversial. Burris's interviews and personal experience working to eliminate tracking reveal a pernicious undercurrent in the opposition. The zero-sum attitude of parents who believe that increased opportunity for others will lead to decreased opportunity for their own children becomes yet more problematic as coded issues of race and class begin to emerge. Although the majority of the book is dedicated to the history of tracking and efforts made to eradicate it, a final chapter on choosing schools demonstrates that the practice is making a comeback under a different name. Burris's accessible book will be valuable to teachers and administrators seeking a more just way to fulfill the mandate of public education, as well as to parents who fear classroom heterogeneity. (Mar.)
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