Does Tracking and Ability Grouping Protect the Income of White Female Teachers?

A recent article, Modern-Day segregation in Public Schools, reveals that South Maple Orange School District White students are the benefactors of a student tracking and ability grouping system that has been in existence for decades. Nearly, six decades ago the Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education deemed segregation in public schools as unconstitutional. Even though illegal, school districts have found creative ways to segregate students to ensure the protection of the income for White female teachers.

Proponents believe that tracking and ability grouping prevents teachers from being placed in difficult and sometimes embarrassing circumstances due to their ineffective teaching. For example, in a large class of students with mixed abilities, teachers may have difficulty in ensuring that all students are learning. It is assumed that students of higher academic levels will suffer due to a lack of challenging activities. Alternatively, children at lower levels will suffer because the material is to advanced and therefore continue to get left behind. In both situations, children are more likely to act out and become a disciplinary problem. Without the appropriate training the teacher will become ineffective which will eventually transfer into the classroom where the real learning must take place. This circumstance will alter the climate of the school and some teachers may choose to leave the school which in most cases will have a direct impact on the income of the White female teachers.

Opponents believe that tracking and ability grouping is paramount to racism and is ineffective for students of color. This scheme of education denies students of color opportunities afforded to White students because of the perceptions that White teachers have in regards to Blacks students.

In a recent conversation, a former parent of the South Orange Maplewood School District indicated that when her son was in the first grade he made straight A’s. When he went to the 2nd grade, he told his White female teacher that he made straight A’s in the first grade. The White teacher responded, “That is not going to happen in the 2nd grade”. This teacher was instrumental in the tracking and ability grouping and had developed an perception that Black male students need to be tracked at lower academic levels to be successful.

For this one Black male he benefited from the tracking and ability grouping because he learned how interact with not only the White kids but he was able to survive the negative perceptions that many White teachers have regarding Black students. However, it is not the same for many other Black students.

School districts should demand that White teachers have the ability to teach all students no matter what their ethnicity instead of using tracking and ability grouping. The real challenge is that many White teachers reject the culture of Black students, which hampers their ability to teach Black students.

When you challenge their inability you also challenge their livelihood. You challenge their scarce resource which is money. White families are dependent on the income that White female teachers bring home. There is an estimated 3.7 million teachers in the United States. Approximately 75% of those teachers are White females which equates to 2,775,000 millions White female teachers. The average salary for a beginning teachers is $41,000. At a minimum, White families benefit to a tune of $113 billion dollars per year.

Racism at the expense of Black children has been and continues to be the vehicle for the survival of the White family.

School districts that continue to face racism allegations must better train and alter the perceptions that White teachers have regarding Black students. This process must begin with all teachers from pre-k to 12. Teacher evaluations must reflect the teachers ability to educationally advance all students.

One way to appropriately assess teachers is to pre and post test the students. The post test must indicate that all students have progressed through the same levels. For example, if you have a ten level scale and a White student test at the third level and the Black student test at the fifth level. If the White student moves up three levels, then the Black student must move up at least three levels or vice versa.

A word of caution for school districts that desire to transform from tracking and ability grouping.

  1. Whatever strategy that you choose to implement provide time to pilot the strategy. This will provide an opportunity to work out any kinks.
  2. Use a teambuilding process that includes the input from teachers. This will add value to the transition and decrease the likelihood that teachers will reject the strategy and therefore putting the school district in the same place that it began.         

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012


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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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