Race and Track Assignment: A Reconsideration with Course-Based Indicators of Track Locations.Report as inadecuate

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Several studies in the 1980s found that Black students were more likely to be enrolled in college-preparatory programs than Whites of equal achievement and family background. These findings contradict suspicions that tracking systems create more Black-White inequality than would occur without them. However, a weakness of one study supporting this view was its reliance on self-reporting by students concerning track location. A follow-up study used student's course records and High School and Beyond data. Results showed that neither Blacks nor Hispanics were more likely to be assigned to the college track than they were when tracking was indicated by self-reports. Compared to Whites, Blacks were more likely to erroneously regard their programs as college-preparatory than were Whites, and less likely to erroneously describe their programs as noncollege-bound. When the course-based indicator and self-reports are both included as predictors of mathematics achievement, only the former indicator implies that tracking has no impact on net racial differences in achievement. However, because race is correlated with socioeconomic status and prior achievement, tracking tends to magnify gross racial differences in achievement. Eight tables are attached. (Contains 32 references.) (JPT)

Descriptors: Black Students, College Bound Students, College Preparation, Curriculum Evaluation, Curriculum Problems, High School Students, High Schools, Hispanic American Students, Hispanic Americans, Minority Groups, Noncollege Bound Students, Racial Discrimination, Student Placement, Track System (Education), White Students

Author: Lucas, Samuel R.; Gamoran, Adam

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=10810&id=ED357455


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