Equitable Excellence:
Freshman Curriculum Restructuring

The priorities of the district’s strategic plan include increasing access to rigorous curriculum and eliminating race, socioeconomic status, and other social factors as predictors of student success.  In 2022-2023, to increase access to rigorous coursework for all students, the high school will eliminate separate college-prep and honors level classes for freshman English, science, history, and world languages, replacing them with a single, rigorous, high-level honors curriculum for all.




Oct. 26, 2021

Click here to see the recording of our community webinar to explain and answer questions about the restructuring. Click here to see the slide deck from the webinar.



Oct. 14, 2021

Click here to view the presentation to the Board of Education. The Board is expected to vote on whether to approve the restructuring at its regular meeting on Oct. 28, 2021.

April 8, 2021

Click here to view the presentation made to the Board of Education.

February 25, 2021

Click here to view the presentation made to the Board of Education.

November 19, 2020

Click here to view the presentation made to the Board of Education.

February 27, 2020

The administration and Faculty Senate presented this joint statement to the Board of Education. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Posted October 2021

To see answers to frequently asked questions, please click here.

To see additional questions that were asked at our four community meetings in fall 2019, click here.

Info from 2019 Community Meetings

September 18, 2019

  • Click here to download a PDF of the presentation.

  • Click here to view the video of the Sept. 18, 2019, presentation.

October 2, 3 & 9, 2019

  • Click here to download a PDF of the presentation, which contains some revisions for clarity.

  • Click here to view the video of the Oct. 9, 2019, presentation.

Response to West Cook News

A Sept. 21, 2021, article falsely alleges a lowering of grading standards.

Additional Resources

A summary of research related to tracking is also available in this presentation from Nov. 19, 2020. 

"Accelerating Mathematics Achievement Using Heterogeneous Grouping," by Carol Corbett Burris, Jay P. Heubert, and Henry M. Levin, American Educational Research Journal, Spring 2006. Longitudinal study on providing accelerated mathematics curriculum to all 8th graders in a diverse suburban school district. Performance of high-achieving students showed no statistical difference when compared to their previous homogeneously grouped classes. Additionally, scores on placement and Advanced Placement tests improved over time.

"Accountability, Rigor, and Detracking: Achievement Effects of Embracing a Challenging Curriculum as a Universal Good for All Students," by Carol Corbett Burris, Teachers College Record, March 2008.

"Alternative Approaches to the Politics of Detracking," by Kevin Welner and Carol Corbett Burris, Theory Into Practice, Winter 2006

“Choosing Tracks: ‘Freedom of Choice’ in Detracking Schools,” by Susan Yonezawa, Amy Stuart Wells, and Irene Serna, American Educational Research Journal, Spring 2002. 

“Detracked--and Going Strong,” by Peter Bavis, Phi Delta Kappan, Nov. 28, 2016. Highlights detracking Evanston Township High School. Positive outcomes include noticeable gain on ACT scores across all demographic groups. 

"Detracking: The Social Construction of Ability, Cultural Politics, and Resistance to Reform," by Jeannie Oakes, Amy Stuart Wells, Makeba Jones, and Amanda Datnow, Teachers College Record, Spring 1997. 

"Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence Across Countries," by Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Wößmann, National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2005. Analysis of different tracking arrangements in 20 international institutions. Results suggest tracking is linked to lower overall performance and increase in inequity. 

"Four Decades of Research on the Effects of Detracking Reform: Where Do We Stand? A Systematic Review of the Evidence," by Ning Rui, Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine, 2009. Meta-analysis of 15 studies found that detracking consistently demonstrated positive effects on low-ability achievement with no measureable effects on average- to high-ability student achievement.

Guidance from the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)

"Honoring All Learners: The Case for Embedded Honors in Heterogeneous English Language Arts Classrooms," by David Nurenberg, English Education, October 2016. 

“Matchmaking: The Dynamics of High School Tracking,” by Jeannie Oakes and Gretchen Guiton, American Educational Research Journal, Spring 1995. Cornerstone article in detracking literature. Three-year longitudinal study of detracking in 10 racially and socio-economically diverse high schools. Found that detracking efforts confront and should attend to assumptions about power, control, and legitimacy in schools that manifest in how students are viewed as learners.   

“Readiness for College: The Role of Noncognitive Factors and Context,” by Jenny Nagaoka, Camille A. Farrington, Melissa Roderick, Elaine Allensworth, Tasha Seneca Keyes, David W. Johnson, and Nicole O. Beechum, VUE, Fall 2013. 

"Sustained Inquiry in Education: Lessons from Skill Grouping and Class Size," by Frederick Mosteller, Richard J. Light, and Jason A. Sachs, Harvard Educational Review, Winter 1996. Analysis of literature found lack of available evidence to support current form of tracking in U.S. schools.

"Tracking Detracking: Sorting through the Dilemmas and Possibilities of Detracking in Practice," by Beth C. Rubin and Pedro A. Noguera, Equity & Excellence in Education, 2004.

"Whole-School Detracking: A Strategy for Equity and Excellence," by Doris Alvarez and Hugh Mehan, Theory Into Practice, Winter 2006.