23 Aug 2014
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Student Tracking To Be Analyzed, Says Superintendent

'We should be real careful about what processes we are using to [place students in learning levels],' said Superintendent Penny MacCormack.

Student Tracking To Be Analyzed, Says Superintendent

Montclair district's practice of student tracking -- pairing students of similar educational aptitude into learning groups -- was questioned this week about its effect on race in the classroom. 

Superintendent Penny McCormack responded Friday to concerns from the Civil Rights Commission about the racial distribution of students in learning levels based on tracking.  

"I think we need to look at that," said MacCormack. "We need to take a good hard look at that, and in addition how and why students are placed in the levels."

MacCormack was unable to elaborate on how student learning levels in the schools were broken down by race, or whether any racial segregation could arise from the tracking system. 

MacCormack said the district is concerned about how the student tracking system may impact racial distribution in the learning levels, and that it will be analyzed in the coming months. 

"That is data we need to collect," said MacCormack. 

"We should be real careful about what processes we are using to [place students in learning levels] and that they are transparent and clear to everyone involved."

The effect of the tracking system on race will be presented at the beginning of April with the superintendent's Plan of Entry for the district's future.

If any changes to student tracking were to come about, said MacCormack, it would be based on the data and input from the community. 

"We're not going to rush to judgement," said MacCormack. "We're going to take our time and look at the data." 

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