The Urban Review

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 129–133 | Cite as

The impact of ability group placement decisions on the equality of educational opportunity in desegregated elementary schools

  • Cassandra A. Simmons
  • Nelvia M. Brady


The academic placement decisions of school personnel in desegregated elementary schools is assessed. Placement decisions involving labeling, classifying, and differential assignment policies are often related to the student's racial background. Students are often misclassified and misplaced because of inappropriate evaluation procedures and arbitrary decisions made by school personnel. Such assignment policies have led to high levels of classroom and program resegregation once districts and school buildings have been desegregated.

Differential placement, often referred to as ability grouping, must be discontinued as it is currently practiced. Low teacher expectations, differential curricula, and low student achievement are often associated with differential placement decisions in desegregated elementary schools.


Elementary School Student Achievement Educational Opportunity School Personnel School Building 
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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cassandra A. Simmons
    • 1
  • Nelvia M. Brady
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Urban DevelopmentMichigan State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Educational Testing ServicesEvanston

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