It was once common for elementary-school teachers to arrange their classrooms by ability, placing the highest-achieving students in one cluster, the lowest in another. But ability grouping and its close cousin, tracking, in which children take different classes based on their proficiency levels, fell out of favor in the late 1980s and the 1990s as critics charged that they perpetuated inequality by trapping poor and minority students in low-level groups.NYC is struggling with how to teach GT students.
Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker who is running for mayor, has proposed expanding the number of gifted classes while broadening the criteria for admission in hopes of increasing diversity. (The city’s Education Department has opposed the proposal, saying that using criteria other than tests would dilute the classes.)And teachers?
Teachers and principals who use grouping say that the practice has become indispensable, helping them cope with widely varying levels of ability and achievement.
Elementary School teacher Jill Sears:
My instruction aimed at the middle of my class, and was leaving out approximately two-thirds of my learners,
The comments are interesting.
You need not "teach to the middle". If you aim high with your expectations and impose rigor and high standards in the classroom, most students can achieve and succeed regardless of "so-called" ability.