Unfortunately, little has been done to explore the substantive and methodological issues underlying the effect-size data extracted from large numbers of primary studies.
J. Oaks (1981) studied the tracking and curriculum differentiation in a national sample of English and mathematics classes. He noted that the practice of ability grouping developed in the last seventy years or so in response to both the increased diversity in student populations following the great influx of immigrants in the late nineteenth century, and the institution of compulsory education laws which followed soon thereafter. Oaks studied classroom variables and student track levels in secondary schools with a view to determining the impact of tracking and the resulting differences in student educational experiences. A secondary analysis of nationwide data collected for A Study of Schooling was used in an analysis of the classroom experiences of students in 297 secondary school English and mathematics classes. An uneven racial distribution was found among tracks, particularly in schools where minority students were poor. The data analysis indicated that education in the schools studied was not available to all on an equal basis. Low-track students were least likely to experience the quantity and quality of instruction associated with achievement. Teacher-student relationships and other classroom interactions in low-track classes focused on punitive and negative expressions, with low levels of peer esteem and high levels of class dissonance. These findings held true for both within-class and between-class situations, although, being secondary level classes, the cross-grade configuration predominated.
Nongraded Plans (a.k.a. Ungraded Plans) refer to a variety of related grouping plans. In its original conception, nongraded plans were ones in which grade-level designations were entirely removed, and students were placed in flexible groups according to their performance levels rather than th