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Title:Tracking Segregation: Experiences of African American High School Students in Low- and High -Track Math and English Classes
Author(s):Venzant, Terah Talei
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wanda Pillow
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Black Studies
Abstract:African Americans have been subjected to pervasive and systemic persecution as at every step their unceasing drive for true freedom has been actively subverted---particularly in the arena of education. This project seeks to understand the role that school tracking policies play in this story as a contemporary manifestation of this pervasive subjugation. Tracking, the practice of sorting students to differential learning environments based on perceived academic ability, has been shown to have deleterious implications for the learning of all children (Meier et al., 1989; Oakes, 1985; 2005, Wheelock, 1992). Yet, the process continues unchallenged and unabated in over 85% of our nation's schools (Wheelock, 1992). Through two mutually-supportive objectives of (1) making a historical connection of tracking to African American educational disenfranchisement and (2) allowing space for students themselves as legitimate policy informants to speak back to tracking policy effects on individual students, this project fills a substantial knowledge gap. It employs a case study methodology, incorporating individual interviews, focus groups, classroom observations and document analysis and is grounded in the theoretical foundation of critical policy analysis and critical race theory (CRT). Central themes of assimilation, segregation/isolation and personal responsibility provide a framework for a comprehensive understanding of their learning environment. Findings suggest implications for larger educational equity issues, revealing that while school tracking policies may not be at the root of educational disparities, by understanding the ways school tracking policies contribute to these larger issues we can significantly enhance the educational experiences of African American students.
Issue Date:2006
Description:396 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3223737
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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