Making it work

While detracking sounds great in theory, there are so many ways for it to go wrong. Beth Rubin told the story of Oak City High School, an urban school that detracked only because more affluent students had left the school and the school staff perceived the remaining students as “all…somewhat on the same level” (Rubin, 2007, p.236), as in the students were all so low that there was no point in tracking them. There are examples of schools that tried to detrack and just wound up creating a new track of failures (Bair & Bair, 2011) and districts that tried to detrack only to encounter such severe parent resistance that the reform had to be abandoned. Our goal is to not repeat the mistakes of the past and to instead learn from them. The recommendations on this page are culled from research on detracking. If you have more ideas and tips, let us know. We want to hear from you!

For teachers

For school leaders