Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2023

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

Jose Rios


Ability tracking is an educational practice used throughout the world that separates students into different curriculum tracks based on their perceived academic ability. This heavily debated practice poses significant questions to its continued use due to harmful psychological and social effects on students without any guaranteed academic benefits. This paper considers the literature on all these issues and finds that ability tracking may benefit some students academically, but that this often comes at a detriment to their own and others’ psychological and social development. Further, this paper discusses strategies moving forward to ensure all students have access to a high-quality education that meets their academic, psychological, and social needs.