As long as the school system has been in existence, there have been many cases of discrimination in one form or another. Blocked opportunities for students of a certain race and or in a lower socio-economic group have always existed. Many school officials, including various faculty members, have been responsible for rerouting minority students suggesting less demanding classes with the belief that these students could not handle the more advanced course work. This particular form of discrimination has been labeled tracking. For many years, racial minorities have been battling, and at times succumbing, to this form of discrimination.
Tracking involves dividing students based upon their learning capabilities and placing them in specific classes that will fit their particular needs. For instance, if a student does well in placement testing, they are placed in advanced classes that prepare them for college. On the other hand, if the student performs poorly on placement testing, they are placed in classes that are supposed to help the students in the areas that they are lacking.
Placement testing is not the only way of dividing up these groups. Sometimes a student’s race or socio-economic background is taken into consideration. Hispanic and African American students are usually the groups that are negatively affected by the process of tracking. “Thus, the practice of tracking places large numbers of students who are already economically disadvantaged at risk of being educationally disadvantaged” (Risley, 1999:1).
Tracking began back in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Risley, 1999:1). It was created to fulfill the needs of the education system in response to the increasing number of European immigrants and ...
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...etrieved October 10, 2002 from http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/hill/papers/tracking.html
McNulty, J. (2002). New book reveals conflicted racial identity among white youth. U.C. Santa Cruz Currents, Retrieved October 10, 2002 from http://www.ucsc.edu/currents/01-02/04-01/identity.html
Orozco, L., Ph. D. (2002). To Track or Not To Track. On Line Lecture Series, Retrieved October 10, 2002 from http://hdcs.fullerton.edu/faculty/orozco/lecturetracking.html
Risley, B. (1999). The Inequality of Tracking: Implications for Minority and Lower Socioeconomic Status Students. Retrieved from http://horizon.unc.edu/edsp287/1999/team/tracking/tracking.html
Walker, T. (2001). “Something is Wrong Here” Denver students confront racial Tracking at their high school. Teaching Tolerance, Retrieved October 5, 2002. From http://tolerance.org/teach/printar.jsp?p=0&ar=321π=ttm