Slavin, R. E. (1988, September). Synthesis of research on grouping in elementary and secondary schools. Educational Leadership, 46 (1), 67-77.
At the other end of the ability continuum, Allan summarized that low-ability children do benefit from specific grouping for instruction for part of the day but not from wholesale grouping for long periods of time (1991, p. 65). Oakes reports that children suffer emotionally when placed in classes for slow students. Being in a low track can foster a poor self-concept, lowered life aspiration,s and negative attitudes towards school. She concludes that low track students eventually misbehave or drop out altogether (Oakes & Lipton, 1990, p. 159). Research shows that exceptional students do better when they are not placed in segregated classrooms. Madden and Slavin found that mildly handicapped children and slow learners do best in the regular classroom (Dawson, 1987, p. 361).
At this time, the prevailing mode of economic thinking influenced society to view children as raw material from which adults would be created. From a modern standpoint, this is a bit difficult to conceptualize, but it is congruent with an industrial philosophy. Efficient factories were desirable for industrial America, and the schools were viewed as factories which were supposed to turn out educated persons, much as Fords from an assembly line (Oakes & Lipton, 1990, p. 167). Scientific styles of management led policymakers to behave much the same as quality control workers in the plant; differences among children were labeled as flaws and grouped in conveniently managed ways.
In 1991 Susan Allan summarized the research on ability grouping, provoking controversial debate in the professional journals. She carefully made a distinction between the meta-analytic technique used by James Kulik and Chen-Lin Kulik and the best-evidence synthesis technique employed by Robert Slavin (Allan, 1991, p. 63). Allan generalizes that gifted and high-ab