Lion of the Blogosphere

Grouping students by ability: probably won’t happen very often

There’s an article at the Atlantic hinting that grouping students by ability may be making a comeback (hat tip Gucci Little Piggy), but I doubt very much that this will make much of a comeback. Grouping students by ability is inherently racist. Therefore, the only way to ensure your children are in a class with other students of good ability and behavior is to be wealthy enough so you can afford to send them to a quality private school.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Posted in Education

14 Responses

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  1. OT: here’s an amusing piece about your favorite building, One57
    http://gothamist.com/2013/03/28/tiger_mom_real_estate_edition_chine.php

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    March 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    • I did mentioned on this blog that Asians are a cheap laughing stock of White elitism, and that article proves just that.

      Just Speculating

      March 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

  2. “Ability grouping” only succeeds in low-diversity schools. In high-diversity schools, racial patterns emerge. Such patterns make some people angry.

    Blog Raju

    March 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    • That makes sense. I grew up in a 99% white suburb, in the 80s, and we had four different math groups of 30 kids each, and then we’d go back to our homerooms for most other things. This was grades 3-5.

      Another way to do it would be to have the smarter kids teach the slower kids. But that wouldn’t be allowed either, for much the same reasons.

      “Math appreciation” … LMAO. As long as no one’s feelings get hurt, it’s all good. 🙂

      shiva1008

      March 28, 2013 at 8:41 PM

  3. My high school in Texas track the hell out of the students. There weren’t many private school or magnet school options, so that was how people dealt with it.Don’t know if they still do it that way though.

    albert magnus

    March 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM

  4. If my local school hadn’t used “ability grouping” I’d have been in trouble – I can imagine giving up in disgust at being taught alongside a bunch of bozos. Hell, even my primary school was “streamed”.

    dearieme

    March 28, 2013 at 5:51 PM

  5. But as the article points out, ability grouping is already happening, it’s just not official. Until the government bans private schools, homeschooling, and any kind of specialized school or class, kids are always going to end up segregated to some degree by intellect. It’s the few and far between child who is genuinely gifted but has no resources whatsoever.

    I’ve always thought kids should be segregated by behavior. Take the rotten ones and stick them in the broom closet with the janitor. At least the well behaved students are respectful to the teachers, and making an effort, whether or not they’re the brightest bulbs.

    islandmommy

    March 28, 2013 at 11:13 PM

  6. The school I attended was mostly black.There were remedial classes to help the slower kids for reading and math but that was it. In jr high, the math teacher gave the class a test. Four of us were given algebra books and told to work in an empty classroom while everyone else had regular math. It probably would have worked if we had been placed on a schedule and had our worked checked to make sure we kept up. But that didn’t happen. After 2 months of sitting around goofing off I asked to go back to the regular class. In hindsight, I’m sure algebra was something the administration ordered done. I doubt the teacher or the school would have done it on their own.

    ***

    The school my children attended for primary was great. But when my oldest started middle school they added a lot of students from other schools that were behind. My son would come home complaining that it was “baby work”. I had meetings with the principal, teachers and finally assistant superintendent suggesting they track, stream, group or whatever you want to call it. I argued that having kids of different abilities work at the same pace harms everyone. The slow ones can’t keep up and the bright ones underachieve. I said everyone is better off when they’re working at their own ability. They had 10 classes for each grade so they could have easily created a couple of advanced and a couple of remedial classes.

    Everyone’s response was, “Are you saying we should segregate?” Notice how they used a loaded word to try to intimidate me. More importantly, notice how they all used the SAME word. That told me they had been coached on what to say. If you want to know why then read this…

    http://www.nas.org/articles/Achievement_Gap_Politics

    destructure

    March 29, 2013 at 12:24 AM

  7. Trackng works but everyone who went through a school that did it probably remember the son of some school board member or Chamber of Commerce type who was in the top track for no good reason. Tracking got a bad reputation when the small and medium size cities in the south were using it for blatant segregation.
    Like many things the government does, tracking works the best when the government is 100% honorable and politics is left out. However, in the real world, tracking can quickly lead to the rich kid classes and the non-white classes.

    superdestroyer

    March 29, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    • Tracking got a bad reputation when the small and medium size cities in the south were using it for blatant segregation.

      Dividing children purely on the basis of standardized test scores will lead to a disproportionate distribution of students. Groups have been trying to end standardized testing for years because they claim the tests are biased. Do you think standardized testing is biased? If not then you should probably take allegations its being used for segregation with a grain of salt.

      destructure

      March 29, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      • I was thinking of the towns in South Carolina where white kids with lower scores were put in the top track while black students with higher scores were not. Parents who take a more active interest in their child can ask for their children to put in the top track. How many school board members are going to let their children be put in the slow track with all of the black kids?

        superdestroyer

        March 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      • How many school board members are going to let their children be put in the slow track with all of the black kids? — superdestroyer

        I’ve had several friends on school boards over the years. They wouldn’t handle it as crudely as you suggest. Most school board members are fairly bright and successful. So most wouldn’t have kids who even need the help. But, if they did, then they wouldn’t risk something like that blowing up in their faces. As petty and contentious as local politics is, it would and they know it.

        destructure

        March 30, 2013 at 12:38 AM

  8. “the only way to ensure your children are in a class with other students of good ability and behavior is to be wealthy enough so you can afford to send them to a quality private school.”

    This kind of quip is easy for a single and childless Manhattanite nerd man-child to make, but for the rest of us, it doesn’t quite cut it. “Get wealthy or die off” is not realistic advice

    Anonymous

    March 30, 2013 at 5:30 AM

  9. Our local schools would never do anything as crude as tracking students by ability, however they do have AP and honors classes for students who are directed there by school counselors. So it’s ability grouping on the sly, or at least until it catches the notice of some equalist busy body.

    Mike

    March 31, 2013 at 8:48 AM


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