Tracking in the United States: Descriptive statistics from NELS

Daniel I. Rees, Laura M. Argys, Dominic J. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although there is a general sense among educational researchers that the practice of ability grouping is widespread, national descriptive statistics on the subject are scarce. This note presents data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 that suggest a sizeable majority of 8th and 10th grade students are tracked. Also, it is found that informal tracking patterns in the 8th grade and 10th grade seem to be broadly similar. Lastly, we note that students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, blacks, and Hispanics are more likely to be enrolled in lower track classes and less likely to be in upper track classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Economics and Econometrics


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