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Traci

I hear you. I've been teaching mostly honors classes for a number of years, and from a teacher's view, it's hard not to appreciate tracking if you have the opportunity to teach honors. But it DOES weaken the general classes, for all the reasons you mention. However, I know that many of my honors students would be held back and crippled by the slower pace if we had NO tracking. It's a dilemma.

I'm in Georgia also, and the HOPE is a blessing and a curse. Since the HOPE was instituted, almost all parents expect that a) their children will attend college, and b) that it is our obligation as educators to make sure that their kids remain eligible for the HOPE. It has definitely led to grade inflation, making it increasingly difficult for teachers to hold kids to a standard that will enable them to succeed once they do start college. But I also think the HOPE is a fantastic opportunity for many kids--I wish I'd had it when I was going through school. Another dilemma.

madhatter

i hear ya. you know what's sad? i feel the same way and i teach general classes. i've got lots of slacker honors kids in my classes who are bored out of their mind because the rest of the class is freakishly low. i'm against tracking as well, but all that mumbo jumbo about pairing the smart kids with the lower kids has not worked in my classroom. there are race barriers as well as educational barriers. anyway, sometimes i just want to push those slackers back into honors so that i can teach the other 85% without feeling guilty. it's a tad selfish and i don't know if i really mean it, but i think about it.

Nancy


What would be so wrong with tracking in high school as long as all the levels had teachers who challenged the students and improved the level of the kids' achievement over the course of the year?

I'd go so far as to have ability level groupings within levels. Teaching basic skills to lower level readers to prepare them for junior college and teaching higher achievers how to prepare well researched and supported essays so they can go to Harvard are not the same task, and yet my be expected in a "college prep. English" class.

The rhetoric of ed. school is for the teacher to differentiate and individualize instruction, but that's hard as hell to do with student loads over a 100. And I don't think block schedule to reduce the load is as good an answer as tracking.

Hipteacher, at your school, for say the 11th grade, do you have tech prep., general, honors, and gifted/AP or just general and honors. How many levels already exist?

I like the website because it is interesting.

panasianbiz

I stumbled across your blog while I was doing some online research. As a fellow educator, I understand your frustration. So few parents realize all the demands made on a teacher's time. It's amazing that we find the time to actually prepare for our classes!

mr big dicks hot chicks

Newsflash: Parents of honors students like to chit chat with good 'ole English teacher on a regular basis--and by that I mean weekly, if not daily. So, if posting has seemed erratic, that's because it has been. I've been in parent conferences before, after and during school. Some of it seems a little less-than-pressing, like how Billy didn't turn in his homework one freaking time and now he's not going to get into med school, when I've got kids poppin' out babies and trying to stay in school or filing charges against his/her dad because step-mom is a crack whore. But, on the other hand, I really must stop myself from being too snarky because most of these parents really seem to love their kids and just want the best for them. Not to mention, they are doing something right to have such motivated, intellectually curious children.

mr big dicks hot chicks

Parents of honors students like to chit chat with good 'ole English teacher on a regular basis--and by that I mean weekly, if not daily. So, if posting has seemed erratic, that's because it has been. I've been in parent conferences before, after and during school. Some of it seems a little less-than-pressing, like how Billy didn't turn in his homework one freaking time and now he's not going to get into med school, when I've got kids poppin' out babies and trying to stay in school or filing charges against his/her dad because step-mom is a crack whore. But, on the other hand, I really must stop myself from being too snarky because most of these parents really seem to love their kids and just want the best for them. Not to mention, they are doing something right to have such motivated, intellectually curious children.
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