New IDRA Policy Note Released: “Tracking, Endorsements and Differentiated Diplomas – When ‘Different’ Really is Less”
Message from Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA President & CEO
April 23, 2013
IDRA is releasing a new policy note, “Tracking, Endorsements and Differentiated Diplomas – When ‘Different’ Really is Less.” The policy note presents an overview of the failure of tracking in schools and what tracking looks like in Texas.
We need to be honest about the fact that, right now, our state budgets for a two-tiered education system and makes plans based on the assumption that schools will lose one third of their students. State and school leaders assume that fewer students will graduate than started in the ninth grade and even fewer children will graduate than started in kindergarten. This assumption is built into teacher hiring practices, into ways in which schools deal with parents and communities, into whether and how schools connect with kids, and into curriculum decisions about which courses will be offered and to whom. Student attrition is built into facilities planning and funding decisions.
And it is clearly an assumption behind current proposals to weaken high school curriculum and further institute tracking of students. Our state legislature appears to firmly believe that all children can learn – except for those over there.
But our state must take responsibility for the academic success of all students, including those “over there” – who happen to now be the majority of students in Texas schools. A vital state must have educational parity for all students and not parcel out one set of opportunities for some and minimal expectations for others.
The research and decades of experience behind IDRA’s Quality School Action Framework™, show that a high-quality curriculum is essential to success for all students for them to reach a true level of college readiness.
Children have shown that they will rise to the level of expectation that is made of them and to the level of challenge and support that is provided to them.
Policymakers and schools should not make pre-college decisions on behalf of students or track them into low-level courses that limit career options. It’s time for Texas to step up, not step back.
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