Should public high schools be segregated by ability?

  • As much as I'd like to say no, I think that segregating students based on ability would be helpful.

    I think that students of all levels would benefit from this. Gifted students could excel, and those that are struggling can get the attention they need. Each student is different, though, so if they excel in math but aren't good at English, they should be in the gifted math and in the slower paced English class. That way no one would get left behind, and those that want to work ahead will have the chance to.

  • Schools need to be segregated by intelligence.

    As I am in high school now, that may skew my judgement, but I am sick of being put in classes with people who still can't read (an exaggeration, of course). The problem isn't so much that classes need to be segregated by ability because, quite frankly, they already are; there are remedial, normal, honors, A.P., and I.B. Classes.

    I do agree that teachers should be trained to a higher degree, at least for the classes that need it. Not that I want to shortchange the lower end of classes, but you don't need a physicist to teach Algebra 1, that's all.

    The main issue I have is that the higher level classes are the ones being shortchanged. The smartest people are the ones who get tossed from class to class getting teachers who are unable to teach the on level that they are told. In my school, there are so few qualified teachers that A.P. Classes need to be combined with the I.B. Classes. This, coupled with the fact that my school has been putting all the advanced classes in portables for the past 20 years, leaves 40 students who actually WANT an good education in a 30' x 40' room with only one teacher. You see, the "Class Size Amendment" that limits classes to 25 students per room doesn't apply to higher classes.

    What I'm trying to say is that I agree with my titular statement, but the question is a little beside the point, seeing as the system is already in place to segregate schools in that fashion. The issue now is the treatment of people who actually want to be in school.

  • It is Right.

    It is imperative that students in high school be segregated by ability. Students with substantial intellectual abilities do not get the attention they long for. And students who are fairly lacking in scholarly knowledge get strongly demoralized by competition and degradation by fellow peers. The following gives a brief overview on why segregation is necessary.

    Intelligent students need attention. They need to be able to understand their mistakes and strive for bigger and better. It is highly uncommon for teachers to give this care that they need for substantial development, when in a class of mixed abilities. They have to concentrate on the improvement of the commonplace. This should not be necessary. Segregation will allow teachers to concentrate on both types of students, and both students will have a more stable education.

    Additionally, competition and degradation arises from confrontation. Students who cannot live up to the standards of peers that have strong abilities, will definitely be exposed to some form of emotional disgust. This should not be the case. Students need a fair system that does not degrade, but instead, helps to improve. They need encouragement and not criticism.

    It's compulsory to segregate students through their intellectual abilities. It will diminish demoralization and it will enhance the care given to each and every individual. Such a logical proposition should definitely be considered in today's society.

  • Problems on focus and not getting enough attention that hard working students need

    I don't think it's fair that there are some students are more capable to do better in education and others aren't...Which causes many students to be held back of what they could do. In my school (honor student), they put too many un-trying students in honors. They play too much and cause honor students (like me) to not be able to focus. The type of people you put in each class affects grades. When they ran out of room for students to be the in the advanced class, I had to take a standard course. Being around people that didn't try, learn or study brought MY grade down. Being in honors classes with my friends allows me to focus, along with the others. Please people try TOO hard to push students to the next level. Which means they have to take other students out of enrollment to fit others in. Which is why I couldn't take the advanced class, I got stuck with the standards. That's stupid, I think students that try hard should have better opportunies and more focus from the school.

  • Every child has different needs

    Inclusive education where everyone is taught in the same classroom does not benefit students. Imagine a mixed ability math class. You have the gifted kids who are bored because the class is going to slow for them so they are not living up,to their potential and they become bored and disruptive, not only is the class a waste of time for them but they are stopping other storm learning.

    Then you have the challenge kids who can't keep up and get frustrated and take a great deal of the teachers time and attention.

    Then you have the average kids who get nothing from the class as the teachers must spend all their time dealing with the slower ones who don't understand and the bored gifted kids.

    In this classroom no one learns.

  • I think this would provide greater opportunity for everyone

    Students who are struggling can get whatever help they need, whether it will be for algebra or science, and all of the teachers will be specialized to assist them.
    Higher performing students will not be held back, and the teachers can focus on providing challenging, intellectually stimulating coursework and classes.

  • My high school SUCKS!

    High School sucks when you are forced to deal with the children that should be left behind because all it does is waste my time. For example in my Drivers ED. Class I have some mentally handicapped kids and all they do is just sit there and slow the time we have to work on various assignments and activities. So I believe they should be segregated from the superior minds.

  • Homogeneous grouping was far more successful than heterogeneous grouping.

    "Segregate" is perhaps a poor choice of words. When I was in high school, the advanced kids took classes together and the remedial kids took classes together. This system ensured that the children who were in the top ten percentile of academic ability got classes that challenged them, and the children who needed more help got classes set to their pace with more assistance. As the system is now, all kids are lumped together. The advanced kids get bored and don't learn up to their potential, the remedial kids get lost, and only the middle third of students is catered to.

  • YES, from personal experience! I am a high schooler, I know how it feels to lose opportunities.

    My school does not allow students to take summer courses to be more advanced because the inferior students who fail all their classes are the ones tanking all the resources. This is pretty much due to as people mentioned above, the school's job is to get everyone a basic education.

    IMO, instead of putting students with several different levels abilities in a whole building, they should just segregate them by ability, such as instead of creating five schools with student from all across the spectrum, they should put all of the top fifth in one school, the students between the 80th and 60th percentile on another one, and so on.

    I am aware of the ethical and moral problems with this kind of system, though the schools would be serving the kids to the best of their abilities. If we have several kids that are struggling to simply pass a basic science course, while on the other hand we have several others who can ace college-level chemistry and physics courses, it's somewhat impossible for a school to serve the latter kids to their full potential without losing the former group, so we'd need several different schools to account for each kid's abilities.

  • Our last chance.

    Segregation is seen and understood by a vast amount of people as a bad condition/policy. They argue that it is a means to suppress a part of the community, be it power, money, or even things/resources. True intellectual segregation happens all the time in a micro scale among our current system. Yet due to the current state of the system, this blossoming of the gifted mind is inhibited, delayed, and unfortunate for all of society improvement stunted. To allow a fluid education system with no obstructions to occur would allow the society to advance on all levels of interaction with ourselves, and the earth. You are at a fork in the evolutionary road. Time to decide.

    Posted by: Seed
  • Any form of segregation is unconstitutional.

    First off, http://www.Nps.Gov/brvb/historyculture/index.Htm this is a link to a reading about Brown vs. The board of education on segregation between white and black students in the Civil Rights era of the U.S. I do recommend reading it to better understand what am going to say, but it won't be complicated. At the end of the trial the Supreme court ruled that ANY SEGREGATION in schools is unconstitutional. This includes race, religion, age, and mental ability. To segregate children into different schools depending on their academic ability would be against this ruling. It would have future societal repercussions, as well as mental repercussions on the children who aren't as academically capable as the children that go to the more advanced school. Imagine at a young age, just starting school, you have to take a quick test to see which school you will go to. And you do poorly and are put into the less advanced school. All your life you may have a feeling that you are inferior to the children that attended the advanced school, and you may start to believe you aren't good enough to get a job as a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer. Segregation schools by academic ability would be unhealthy to less capable children, as well as giving the academically superior children a false sense of over-all superiority. Just because you are smarter does not mean you are aloud to believe you are better for the human race then others. It would be unhealthy and the repercussions would be to great compared to the benefit of segregating children by their ability. If any benefit.

  • It would enlarge the opportunity gap

    If you put kids in inferior positions, lower expectations, and condition them in an environment where they don't see what to aspire to, you're affecting their chances of success. It is proven that people in general do not work as well as they could when they are treated as inferiors or put in a single pool of people like them, with a limit on their expectations. Take African Americans for example. In the past and even today, many are disadvantaged because they are put in a place where they not see success with education. To help improve oneself, inspiration derives from daily exposures. How can you expect a child to challenge themselves and move ahead if they're with kids who do not have good work ethic ever? Furthermore, who do you think will teach these kids? Teachers will want to work with smarter students, and the worse teachers will gravitate to worse students. It's not fair and it will widen the opportunity gap. We are conditioned by our surroundings.

  • Stop segregating smart students from other students

    Everyone should do a Google search for "Quintillianus- The Institute of Oratory." In book one he explains the benefit of competition in groups to improve performance. If smart kids were in classes with other kids, then they might serve as an inspiration to the other students and also as role models for how to get an A. The benefit to the smart kids would be the opportunity to practice their presentation skills and debate skills in their attempts to uplift the entire community. Of course, any students who disrupt the classroom should be segregated from students who want to learn.

  • Let's think a little about why this is needed.

    I completely advocate that skill sets are important to learning. When highly intelligent people are put in one room together, amazing things happen. But, I don't think public high schools should be segregated.

    Many proponents argue that it would allow for this amazing productivity. Ok, great. But look at Finland. Regarded as one of the most successful systems in the world, Finland does not separate kids by their abilities. They have a grade system, and every kid is taught the same way.

    Much of the problem that resides within the current system (as a proponent pointed out) is that the top and the bottom don't get catered to - only the middle third. Instead of "segregating" individuals by their ability, make better teachers. An education degree is not a degree that is exceedingly difficult to obtain - mind you, there is some training. But nothing like what is seen in highly successful systems, such as Finland. If we have better teachers, they'll be able to accommodate all of their students, both challenging the "top 3rd," helping the "bottom 3rd" and continuing to regularly educate the "middle 3rd."

    Look, I would probably be in that "top 3rd." Am I frustrated when other kids detract from learning because they don't get it? Sure, sometimes. But I realize that in the situations where I don't immediately get something, someone has the exact feeling, even though I want to understand that concept.

    In the end, should we segregate on ability? No. Let's get some better teachers instead.

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Anonymous says2013-05-20T19:30:48.020
The whole reason why many students can't learn more is because their fellow less intelligent students are pulling them back from learning any more. The teacher needs to accommodate for all the students who don't understand, which makes the learning pace slower for the smarter student. At the same time, the less intelligent students that have trouble catching don't have as much pressure from competition with smarter kids, nor will they have as much embarrassment for being behind.