Ability Grouping Advantages

Ability grouping has the potential to completely revolutionize education today. Ability grouping, which places children with peers of similar skill levels, has long been controversial. This, as well as similar processes known as cluster grouping and tracking, became widely debated in the the 1990s. For several years after the controversy, the idea of ability grouping was not mentioned. However, schools have started using ability grouping increasingly in the past few years in the hopes to improve education. Today, many teachers, especially in elementary school, use this with their students. Ability grouping should be used in American schools to help students gain a competitive advantage, stimulate growth in learning, and to enable students …show more content…
Often, material is too easy for many students, and they do not have to work as hard to learn. This allows students to become idle with their schoolwork, and does not prepare them for college or their future careers. According to Sally M. Reis, a former investigator for the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented as well as a former teacher, “...most high-achieving students study an hour or less a day... underachieving students... [have] a similar problem” (Reiss). If students do not have to spend much time studying, they must not be learning much, either. Colleges require hours of studying, and careers take time and effort, so students need to be prepared to deal with these challenges. Grouping students by ability allows students to be challenged, which “...increas[es] the pace of advancement of the study skills of the students at higher levels of ability” (“Does Grouping Students by Ability Work?”). Better studying skills improve students as people and make them more responsible individuals. The responsibility students learn from grouping helps them in all aspects of their lives, providing clear evidence that grouping is beneficial to students. Grouping helps prepare students for later in life with challenging material, nevertheless many people still refrain from this …show more content…
Currently, American students are falling behind in education when compared to other countries, and grouping students will help combat this problem. Chester E. Finn, Jr. is an educational policy analyst, former professor, former US Secretary of Education, and the current president of Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving education, and he discussed in his article that in relation to students in other countries, the “U.S. ranked 17th in reading, 20th in science, and 27th in math” (Finn). These low test scores show that the way students are currently being taught is not as effective as what other countries are doing. Many other countries have already implemented systems such as grouping and tracking, and have had success, as many of them now pass the United States in education. Dina Brulles observed, “Talented students from accelerated classes outperform nonaccelerates of the same age and IQ by almost one full year on achievement tests” (Brulles). This, as well as many other studies, clearly shows the effectiveness of grouping based on talent. Grouping allows students to learn at their own pace, instead of being held back by struggling students, and this enables students to advance more quickly. If teachers are able to work with only their struggling students in a group, they can spend more time with

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