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How One School Leader Makes Sense of Detracking: A Qualitative Case Study

Sat, April 10, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Tracking and Detracking Paper and Symposium Sessions


This case study seeks to answer questions relating to culturally responsive school leadership, supporting minoritized students, and how school leaders sort students into courses. Sorting students into classes based on perceived academic ability has been shown to exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequalities in outcomes (Oakes, 2005). To combat these inequalities, some schools have employed heterogeneous groupings¬–often known as detracking¬–at the secondary level (Burris, 2014). Examining a high school beginning to explore detracking in Pennsylvania, this case study investigates the composition, structures, functions, operations, and perceived effectiveness of the school leadership in implementing detracking.