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 Tracking and Ability Grouping 
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During our discussion in class today I noticed that quite a few schools make switching tracks quite difficult. Why do you think that is? And does this restriction actually have any benefits to the educational advances of the student?

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Jennifer Nicole Redmond


Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:24 pm
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That's a good question. I'm not really sure why a school would make it difficult for someone to change their mind. A lot of things happen between freshman and senior year of high school. We supposedly live in a democratic society full of making our own choices. It seems like school is hindering that. We are getting to make our own choices, by deciding in our minds to switch tracks, but we are not allowed to act upon this choice. The only advantage I could see it having would be to help students to learn to be responsible for their decisions. If they chose College Prep, then they need to take the responsibility for meeting the requirements. It would also hinder them from switching back and forth constantly, which is something you cannot do with jobs in the real world. I feel like not letting students switch their tracks would hinder them in detrimental ways. If their heart is not in what they are doing, then they are going to make bad grades, have bad attitudes, and become unhappy people. They will not get the opportunity to explore and study their desired subject(s). This will definitely hinder the learning process and cause a negative view of school.

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Heather Holland Crow


Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:41 pm
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I think that it is definitely sad if it is hard for students to switch from one track to another. I think, as are most things, that tracking is a good thing for some students and can be a bad thing for others. For the students in the college prep/AP/Honors track I think it is a good thing. The track pushes those students in ways that they may not be pushed otherwise and gives them a goal. When they finish with the track they should feel accomplished and ready for college. Students in the other tracks that are unable to switch to the higher tracks are being hindered in their learning and I think it sets them up to expect less of themselves. They will see all the way through school that their assignments are different from other classes and that they are easier. From then on, we are setting these students up to think of themselves as below that highest track for the rest of their lives.

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Mandi McGaha


Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:41 am
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I think schools make it hard for students to switch tracks because if the students are labeled at a young age and stay in the same track they are able to stay with the same people, the teachers know who is who, and switching tracks would be harder for the guidance counselor. By staying with the same type of people, they are able to push themselves and share their ideas with people on the same “levelâ€

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Tracy Gardo


Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:11 am
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I agree that schools do make it difficult to switch tracks. I hate this too because so what if someone doesn't want to go to college. This doesn't mean that they are not able or capable of completing AP or honors courses. Some people just are not made for college. My high school even had a different track for those who were planning on going to a 4 year college or a community college. As if somehow those attending Universities were smarter than those who were choosing to go to a community college. My brother is an example of this. He is a senior in high school right now and is planning on going to the community college in our county. A teacher actually told him that he didn't need to take an honors English class this year because he was just planning on going to a community college. This sends out the wrong message that any student needs to get. Tracks are difficult because they do place labels on students. I can also see the positive, but students have enough to worry about with trying to be 'accepted' in their life's, why should their classes be the same as well?

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Casey Davis


Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:39 pm
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