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Title:A multidimensional evaluation of the relationship of tracking to student coursetaking opportunities within the English department at one urban high school
Author(s):Davis, Victoria Maye
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Merchant, Betty M.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:This research study investigated an English Department curricular system in an attempt to understand how the district tracking policies and procedures related to student coursetaking opportunities. Variables examined included student English achievement, postsecondary aspiration, and mobility or stratification.
Five research questions guided this multidimensional research study. A qualitative methodology was used that combined historical analysis of school and department documents from 1970 to 1990 and interview protocol. This methodology permitted analysis of participants' perceptions of tracking, maintenance and use of tracking policies and procedures, coursetaking opportunities made available to students, and guidelines for course and track placement. A quantitative methodology was used to analyze 60 student transcripts from the classes of 1970 and 1990 samples, respectively, to determine English course achievement. A course hierarchy of grade level and track difficulty was developed to analyze student mobility or stratification by track beginning and end point.
Two themes emerged reflecting the negative effect of tracking on regular track level students: district policy on weighted grades and inaccessibility of the honors track to regular track students. These themes were balanced by the school's addition of a regular tracked senior course, English 7-8 "R," in 1990, and the encouragement of regular tracked students to take senior English. Policy-making implications on the use of a curricular tracking system included retaining the fourth year of English as a college preparatory course and reviewing the weighted grade policy for the lack of opportunity for mid-range students.
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Davis, Victoria Maye
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9329008
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9329008

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