Support without Tracking
Our school program includes early interventions designed to address learning needs. However, participation in interventions or support classes does not track students for their entire high school programming. If a student needs interventions or support classes as a freshman, our school provides opportunities for this student to access a college-preparation pathway.
Courses taken in middle school or freshman year essentially track students throughout the four years of college in core subjects.
All freshman schedules are the same with little consideration to student needs.
There is flexibility within the system, but students must take the initiative to seek out opportunities to get back on track if they are placed in support classes. Enrichment courses are often filled only by students with families familiar with the system and seeking enrichment.
We Got This!
Students needing support or enrichment opportunities to best meet potential are systematically identified. There is flexibility in the scheduling so that, with careful four-year planning, students who access support classes early can still navigate to college preparation classes by 11th and 12th grade.
Schools sometimes justify disproportionality based on lower numbers of students of color being “prepared” or requesting to access college preparation courses. The lower numbers of preparation and/or request are often impacted by early education practices that either do not invite these students into opportunities or effectively track students at an early age based on an intervention need. To combat this, schools must address practices that invite students to set goals and participate in college readiness. Academic pathways must include flexibility so that if a student needs some “catch up” academic instruction, it does not track them for non-college pathways early in their high school years.
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Data & Research
The McDowell Group (2001) asserted "poor academic preparation tops the list of barriers to success for Alaska Natives in post-secondary education" (p. 33).
In 2005, AI/AN students had the lowest percentage completing a core academic track of any race (DeVoe et al. 2008).
"Students' academic preparation and initial education intentions influence and shape the way they approach college" (Larimore & McClellan, 2005, p.24)