The Pros and Cons of Tracking in Schools

Updated May 18, 2016 |
The Pros and Cons of Tracking in Schools
Tracking was once the standard of public education in the United States but today there is a great deal of controversy regarding its relevance. Consider the pros and cons of tracking to decide whether it might be a good option for your child.

The fact of the matter is that some students learn more quickly than others and some students need more individualized attention. In order to accommodate for the differing needs of their students, many schools started to adopt a tracking system, separating students by academic ability into different groups for certain subjects or for all subjects. This type of program is sometimes called ability grouping (though these are technically two different things) and it is a hotly debated issue in public schools. Before you decide whether tracking might be a good option for your child, take a moment to learn what it is as well as the pros and cons of this type of system.

What is Tracking or Ability Grouping?

Also referred to as phasing or streaming, tracking is a system in which students are divided into classes based on their overall achievement. Students are ranked as being average, normal, or below average and they are divided into classes with students of the same achievement level. Tracking has been used in American public schools for nearly a century and it has changed and developed a great deal during that time. In the early years, tracking was a response to growing numbers of immigrant children coming into the public school system. The goal was to provide those children with an education that was catered to their limited understanding of the English language and their limited preparation, as compared to native students. What ended up happening, however, was a form of internal segregation

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Updated May 17, 2016
How To Discuss Violence in Schools With Children
Learn 8 ways to guide your conversations with children when discussing high-profile acts of violence in schools.
All too often, school violence in the U.S. is ubiquitously broadcasted on TV and online media in the United States, leaving children who watch frightened and confused. These high profile acts may force children to question whether themselves or their friends are in fact safe. Questions may run through their head, such as “Who will protect us?” or “Why would someone do such a thing?”
 
This is where adults—parents, loved ones, and teachers alike—can provide information, guidance, and empathy. Rather than hide from or dismiss the high-profile stories, it is best to confront them head on. Discuss these events with children, establish a sense of security and stability by allaying their fears.
 
Our school violence handbook is designed to be a resource for administrators, faculty, and parents to turn to after times of crisis. We believe the educational experience prioritizes not just intellectual growth, but emotional health. Distribute and use this handbook as a guide for moments when needed most. 
 
8 Ways to Guide Your Conversation
 
       1.    First and foremost—reassure the child that they are safe. Schools are overwhelmingly safe overall despite the high-profile acts that occur every year. They can rest easy knowing themselves and their loved ones will be okay.
 
       2.     Let them know you understand what they’re feeling. Validate those feelings and let them know that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let them talk through their issues and put it into perspective. Simply expressing their (potentially bottled up) emotions can be therapeutic.
 
       3.    Listen. Truly give the child your ear—listen
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Updated May 17, 2016 |
How Does Bullying Affect a Student’s Academic Performance?
Bullying is becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in modern public schools but how exactly does it affect a child's academic performance?

Children can be cruel and it is not uncommon for grade school students to come home in tears after someone called them a name on the bus ride home. Unfortunately, many parents do not understand the potentially damaging effects of bullying not only on a child’s confidence and self-esteem but also on his academic performance.

Shocking Statistics About Bullying

According to StopBullying.gov, a website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, nearly 50% of students in grades 4 through 12 experienced bullying within a given month and more than 70% of students admit to having seen bullying occur in their school. Verbal and social bullying are the two most common types, including things like name calling, teasing, spreading rumors, stealing belongings, sexual comments and gestures, or physical violence. Physical bullying happens less often than social bullying and cyberbullying, though it is becoming increasingly prevalent, is still less common.

While many people assume that a little bit of bullying is harmless – it may even be helpful for the child to teach them how to stick up for themselves. In reality, however, an estimated 160,000 children miss school on any given day due to fear of bullying by other students. Every day, more than 280,000 students are physically attacked in schools and one out of ten students who drops out of school mentions repeated bullying as a factor. Bullying can have a serious impact on a child’s educational experience, and not just by causing him or her to miss

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Updated May 17, 2016 |
Pros and Cons of Public versus Private Elementary Schools
The elementary school you choose for your child could impact his academic success for life - learn more about choosing between public and private elementary schools.

When your child reaches school age you have a lot of important decisions to make. The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to send your child to a private or a public elementary school. Each of these options comes with its own pros and cons but unless you do your research you may not understand fully what they are.

Some children will thrive in any kind of educational environment while other students may need special attention or a certain academic structure. Only you know what your child’s needs are, so it is up to you to do the research and to choose the best option for your child. In this article you will receive an overview of private and public elementary schools as well as the pros and cons of each so you can make an educated decision.

The Difference Between Public and Private

Even if your child attended preschool, elementary school is likely to be his first true educational experience. It is very important that you choose the right school for your child at this age because it will shape his academic career for the future. The main decision you need to make is between private and public elementary schools. Even if you choose to send your child to public school in the future, choosing a private school for elementary might be a good choice.

A private elementary school may also be known as an independent school because it is not administered by any state, local, or national

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Updated January 30, 2016 |
Do Children Born in Certain Months Have Higher Success Rates?
Do children born in certain months develop more quickly than others? Does it affect their success later in life?

Many people ascribe to the basics of astrology, reading their horoscopes in the newspaper or taking online tests to see what their sign says about them. But does the time of year you are born in have any actual influence on your life? Numerous studies suggest that children born at certain times of year are healthier, happier, and more successful than others.

Winter versus Summer Children

Researchers suggest that the month in which your child is born can have an impact on everything from health to success with a future career. The biggest differences were noted between children born in the winter and children born in the summer. There are some studies which say that children born between the months of June and October are more likely to be taller and have bigger bones than children born during the winter – this is likely related to the amount of vitamin D exposure during the pregnancy. On average, children born during the summer were 0.5cm taller then children born in the winter based on results from women who were 37 weeks pregnant.

Not only does the month you are born in affect your size, but it can also affect other things like your likelihood of developing food allergies. Autumn and winter babies develop food allergies at a higher rate than other children. Asthma may also be a factor that can be attributed to birth month, especially in children born during the autumn. During the winter, people spend more time inside

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