Reading The Dante Alighieri Case

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Reading the Dante Alighieri case, I was struck with the similarities between these parents and the mother in the case who did not want her daughter’s education sacrificed for the sake of someone else’s social values. But I sympathised with the parents’ concerns about losing out because both within the microcosm of Vance as well as within Charlotte at large you find “education that is highly stratified and unequally distributed.”
Vance tracks students in a way that is fairly typical of American high schools. Courses are offered at remedial, mainstream, or honors levels. There are also Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses. I taught math, so taking this subject as an example, consider the options open to an incoming ninth grader. They could be sorted into Algebra I, Algebra I Honors, or Honors Geometry. The Honors Geometry students are set up to go on to Algebra II Honors, Honors Precalculus, and then AP Calculus and AP Statistics. If you are a student on the other end of the spectrum in Algebra I and you struggle, then you may end up with me in Algebra I for repeaters. I was a first year teacher when I taught this course. In Vance’s highly stratified system, resources like quality teaching, were very unequally distributed. At Vance, as at many schools, seniority gave a teacher more control over their classes. More experienced teachers ended up teaching the more advanced courses with students they saw as easier to teach. The students who struggled the most ended up

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