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Who of you are familiar with this whole tracking of students idea?
I am really perplexed on what I have heard about it and it truely frustrates me. How can we sit in these college courses as teachers discussing discrimination by class and then go out in the school system and be ok with labeling an entire layout of a students life. Does this topic frustrate you and make you angry and are there any leaders in the school system who will take a stand against this and say this is not ok!

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Brianne Henderson

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Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:42 pm
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Indeed. I wonder how our opinions will change once we start teaching.

I think we should be able to recognize whats going on and be able to deal with the situations we may be put in. If we're in a tracked school we'll be able to know it immediatly and be able to work with it from there. It was like Dr. Turner was saying tonight, she didn't treat her kids any different whether they be AP or close to dropping out.

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Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:21 am
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Ability grouping really makes me mad, especially since I will be teaching special education. This is a topic that is much discussed in an "Inclusion in Special Education" class I have this semester. In many situations, however, I think that general education teachers group students by ability because it is simply the easiest way they think they can teach the children. It has sooo many repercussions for the students though. Since schools are trying to mainstream and include most students now, general education teachers are going to be teaching many more special educatio students. If the teachers continue to ability group their classrooms and they have special ed. students, the whole purpose of inclusion disappears. Kids know when they are in the "dumb" group and that makes them feel inferior to the rest of the class.

Since most of you guys are going to be general education teachers, how do you plan to handle teaching children with special needs in your classroom? Will you group them or include them in your lessons?? Just wondering...

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Jordan Will


Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:31 am
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I've been thinking about this issue for a while, and no matter what angle I try to attack the situation, there is always a group that gets the short end of the stick. I've come to realize -- as bad as it sounds -- that no matter what happens in society, someone will feel hurt, cheated, or inferior.

Let's be honest for a moment, put away the idealistic pedistools and look at the world. People are not equal. God, or whomever you believe created (or grew in a dish) humans, did not distribute skills equally. Not everyone speaks, reads, writes, paints, or drives cars with the same degree of mastery. We all have our talents, some are just valued more than others, and that is a topic all in its own.

What I mean to say is it is really easy for us to say that ability grouping is terrible, but what is the alternative? If we eliminate Honors and AP courses, and put everyone in the same classroom, does it not hinder the students who have higher achievement? While our teaching methods should be the same for everyone, I do not think what we teach them should be. Now before you turn me off and stop reading this because you think I'm heartless or promoting class structure, stop and think about the actual situation. We have different level classes to challenge students. What challenges one group of students may not challenge the other. So if we place all students in the same class, reguardless of what keeps them engaged, we're going to have far more problems than students feeling like they're in the "dumb" group.

With that said, methods should remain constant among all levels. We should encourage critical thinking, opinions, analysis of events and information, synthesis of knowledge. Those are skills that I think are not being taught in the lower level classes, but should be. We have ability grouping to challenge students to reach their full potential. Eventhough we would all like to believe our students can achieve the same things, we are not all blessed with the same abilities.

I'm sure 95% of you are seething with anger at me about now, and that I'll get evil looks in class on Wednesday night, but I ask you to just note one thing: Ability grouping is not tracking. It is the responsibility of the teacher to encourage, within each student, the desire to achieve the level that which they may never reach.

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Danny Jugan

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Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:49 am
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First of all, I think that tracking students for college prep or not college prep in the eighth grade is crap. Students should start thinking about college then, but they should be able change tracks easily based on the next few years of their lives.

As far as ability grouping goes for me as a future elementary school teacher, I believe that it is necessary to a certain extent. I am for inclusion of kids with special needs in the general classroom. I think that teachers should teach to the entire class, but some form of ability grouping is necessary in the younger grades especially because kids come into school at so many different skill levels. I think that it is very important not to have simply the slow group and the fast group. The groups should be different for everything based on particular subjects. If kids aren't grouped together in reading, group them together in art. I think that the main focus should be for all the children to interact together throughout the day in small group forms if necessary. A second grade teacher might have four math ability groups or three reading groups, and the next year their might be two math groups or six reading groups. I just think that we are going to have to base it on the particular group of students. I think there are a lot of ways to include everyone in the class and cater to individual needs to the best of our abilities. Ability grouping does not have to be bad, it just depends on what we make of it.

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Kelly Allen


Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:16 pm
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Kelly Allen wrote:
First of all, I think that tracking students for college prep or not college prep in the eighth grade is crap. Students should start thinking about college then, but they should be able change tracks easily based on the next few years of their lives.


I completely agree. The unfortunately thing is that our post-secondary education system and blue collar job markets do not cater to that kind of flexibility.

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Danny Jugan

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Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:22 pm
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In response to Jordan's question, of do we plan on including or grouping special education students in our classes. I plan on including them, as long as the situation is safe. This semester I am teaching physical education to special ed students from Hardin Park. Through this I am understanding that it is important that they be included in the general population for them to feel accepted and challenged to learn. I started by trying to give certain higher needs students special attention, but was reprimanded by their teacher. She explained that I must treat them firmly, and require them to be independent, or they will not do anything for themselves. It was hard for me to grasp, but as the semester is progressing I am seeing how it works.

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Burl Greene


Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:43 pm
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Tracking really frustrates me. I do not think that its fair to put students on different tracks. Especially since one track is going to do better than another. After all, isnt this equal education? I think that every student should be pushed to their full potential. EVERY student should be encouraged to go on to college. I think that when we track students and tell some they are not on the "fast track to college", they start to believe they cant do it. This angers me!

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Samantha McCrary


Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:04 pm
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Remember guys tracking is different from ability grouping! :wink:

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Brianne Henderson

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Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:52 pm
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