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Closing the Opportunity Gap: A Call for Detracking Mathematics


NCSM, Leadership in Mathematics Education, believes that all students should have access to high-quality instruction and post-secondary educational opportunities. While we acknowledge that many factors hinder such student access, in this position statement we call for the cessation of one clear, addressable factor: the practice of tracking. As a practice, tracking too often leads to segregation, dead-end pathways, and low quality experiences, and disproportionately has a negative impact on minority and low-socioeconomic students. Additionally, placement into tracks too often lacks transparency and accountability. Overall, tracking does not improve achievement but it does increase educational inequality. In light of this, NCSM calls instead for detracked, heterogeneous mathematics instruction through early high school, after which students may be well-served by separate curricular pathways that all lead to viable, post-secondary options.

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