The Spectrum classes were overwhelmingly white and Asian, said Susan Follmer, the Washington principal, and the regular classes were filled with students of color.
“The practice of rigid tracking is very antiquated and not supported by research that tells us how we can have success for all,” Follmer said. “It is a strange practice for district that says its number one goal is equity in education.”
I find the nexus of social justice and tracking a particularly difficult topic and I considered just posting the article as is without much framing. However, I think that I owe everyone a small bit of reflection. To start, the tenets I'm most certain of are that education's primary goal is to meet every child where they are at and that rigorous pathways need to be available.
Questions I have
- How has the experience in gen-ed class rooms changed since this shift?
- How has the experience for Spectrum students changed?
- Meany middle school is about to open in 2 years at which time most of the Spectrum population will move given the demographics. What's the principal going to do then?
- Does this signal changes are coming for the HCC track?
- How committed is Susan Follmer to the other part of the goal having every child "achieve to their highest level."
More Uncomfortable Thoughts
- Does my own reaction to this story differ from how I view a middle school spectrum program which is already blended like that at McClure?
- Does tracking my own child somehow hurt the children left behind in the gen ed classrooms?
- How many tracks are needed at the middle school level?
- If a school segregates students but does not offer them different curriculum how does this practice not look like a modern form of "separate but equal."?
As always please be thoughtful in your comments.