Publications

Publications
What is the best education for exceptionally able and high-achieving youngsters? There are no easy answers but, as Chester Finn and Jessica Hockett show, for more than 100,000 students each year, the solution is to enroll in an academically selective public high school. Exam Schools is the first-ever close-up look at this small, sometimes controversial, yet crucial segment of American public education.
"Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students," is the first study to examine the performance of America's highest-achieving children over time at the individual-student level. Produced in partnership with the Northwest Evaluation Association, it finds that many high-achieving students struggle to maintain their elite performance over the years and often fail to improve their reading ability at the same rate as their average and below-average classmates. The study raises troubling questions: Is our obsession with closing achievement gaps and "leaving no child behind" coming at the expense of our "talented tenth" and America's future international competitiveness? Read on to learn more.
Brookings scholar Tom Loveless examines tracking and detracking in Massachusetts middle schools, focusing on changes that have occurred and the implications for high-achieving students. Among the findings: detracked schools have fewer advanced students in math than tracked schools and detracking is more popular in schools serving disadvantaged populations.
This publication reports the results of the first two (of five) studies of a multifaceted research investigation of the state of high-achieving students in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era. Part I examines achievement trends for high-achieving students since the early 1990s; Part II reports on teachers' own views of how schools are serving high-achieving pupils in the NCLB era.
Tracking and ability grouping strategies differ widely from school to school. They diverge even more widely from their portrayal in the popular criticisms of the 1980s. This report digs into the sensitive matter of whether those criticisms are valid today. The answer tells a more complicated and more honest story than we have heard before on this topic.