About the research
While researchers have extensively studied tracking and detracking, most of those studies have been published in academic journals, hidden behind firewalls. In the following pages, we have gathered together many of the more recent studies on tracking and detracking. For each study, we have posted the abstract and, where appropriate, key findings from the study. While these pages do not represent an exhaustive list of studies on tracking, detracking, and school integration they do present an overview of some key research on these topics.
Generally, researchers investigating tracking have looked at the prevalence of tracking, how students are placed into tracks, the role of race in tracking, and the effects of tracking on students and on society. Other researchers have focused on attempts to reform tracking systems including open enrollment models for advanced courses, implementing universal algebra programs, and raising state standards. Each of these methods has faced challenges, as the studies in that section show. Research on detracking has included research on the effects of detracking on different groups of students, the resistance faced by leaders attempting to detrack, and the process of detracking public high schools. Finally, because detracking is fundamentally about creating meaningful integration within schools, we have also included some studies on the short and long term effects of school integration on students.