Ask Your Teacher About Your School's Tracking Policy
The first step is to get a solid grasp on how your school measures students’ ability – and how it eventually groups them (if it does). When you meet with your child’s teacher, ask about your school’s tracking policy. In many schools, “tracking” is a dirty word, so if the teacher tells you that the school doesn’t track, don’t stop there. Dig deeper to find out how they teach children with different abilities. Here are some specific questions you might want to ask:
- Are placement decisions made on testing alone, or do schools use informal assessments, classroom observation, and/or academic performance?
- How are students in the same grade instructed differently?
- How do performance expectations change from one track to the other?
- How can your child change tracks in the future if his academic performance improves?