>Here is a study by the Tom Loveless of The Brookings Institute that suggests tracking students (at least in Math) increases their performance.
Which schools track and which do not? The evidence reported here indicates that urban schools serving mostly poor children are more likely to have diminished or abolished tracking while suburban schools serving children from more prosperous backgrounds are more apt to have retained it, despite pressure from “experts” and ideologues to do away with it.
This is a point worth pausing over. Schools that eliminated or reduced curricular tracking thought they were doing this to benefit needy and minority kids. They succumbed to the accusation that they and their evil old tracking policies had been complicit in harming such youngsters.
Loveless calls School Choice and differentiated instruction the “New Tracking”:
Ask teachers if differentiation is a worthwhile use of students’ time and most will enthusiastically agree, even though they have little time themselves to craft such lessons and not all of them can pull it
off. Still, differentiation is one of today’s politically-acceptable alternatives to tracking