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A Guide to Detracking Math Courses - Book Cover

A Guide to Detracking Math Courses

The Journey to Realize Equity and Access in K-12 Mathematics Education
By: Angela Torres, Ho Nguyen, Elizabeth Hull Barnes, Laura Wentworth

Foreword by Robert Q. Berry III

Designed for all educational partners, from policymakers to math coaches and teachers, this book provides a model for detracking efforts to create greater equity for all.

Full description

A Guide to Detracking Math Courses - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071880746
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Mathematics Series
  • Year: 2023
  • Page Count: 248
  • Publication date: May 05, 2023

Price: $38.95

Price: $38.95
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Create a pathway to equity by detracking mathematics

The tracked mathematics system has been operating in US schools for decades. However, research demonstrates negative effects on subgroups of students by keeping them in a single math track, thereby denying them access to rigorous coursework needed for college and career readiness. The journey to change this involves confronting some long-standing beliefs and structures in education.

When supported with the right structures, instructional shifts, coalition building, and educator training and support, the detracking of mathematics courses can be a primary pathway to equity. The ultimate goal is to increase more students’ access to and achievement in higher levels of mathematics learning–especially for students who are historically marginalized. Based on the stories and lessons learned from the San Francisco Unified School District educators who have talked the talk and walked the walk, this book provides a model for all those involved in taking on detracking efforts from policymakers and school administrators, to math coaches and teachers.

By sharing stories of real-world examples, lessons learned, and prompts to provoke discussion about your own context, the book walks you through:

  • Designing and gaining support for a policy of detracked math courses
  • Implementing the policy through practical shifts in scheduling, curriculum, professional development, and coaching
  • Supporting and improving the policy through continuous research, monitoring, and maintenance.

This book offers the big ideas that help you in your own unique journey to advance equity in your school or district’s mathematics education and also provides practical information to help students in a detracked system thrive.



Angela Torres photo

Angela Torres

Angela Torres, M.Ed., is a Professional Learning Coordinator for the UC San Diego Mathematics Project. Previously, Angela served as a Math Content Specialist in San Francisco Unified School District where she supported secondary math teachers through professional development, coaching, and curriculum support for almost a decade. Angela deeply believes in the brilliance of all students, and works hard to support teachers in seeing this brilliance, including our Black, Latinx other students who belong to groups that have been traditionally underserved in our education system. She enjoys learning in community with teachers and has learned a tremendous amount in supporting high school teachers in San Francisco, managing the Complex Instruction program in SFUSD and through currently consulting with a team of educators supporting the Complex Instruction program in other districts. She has also presented the SFUSD math team’s work at the national and state mathematics conferences. As a member of the California State Mathematics state board, she has joined a team working to support the movement towards equity for all students in California. Angela has a Masters degree in Education from San Francisco State University, is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher, and is always looking to bring what she has learned to the work she does with teachers. Angela has publications including, CMC’s ComMuniCator, “Working Towards Equity through Core Values,” and two co-authored pieces with Lizzy Hull Barnes, a Case Study in Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics, “Work to End Tracking and Offer Four Years of Meaningful Math Instruction” and a chapter in Success Stories for Catalyzing Change in School Mathematics, “Being Bold: San Francisco’s Detracking Story as a Path to Equity.”

Ho Nguyen photo

Ho Nguyen

Ho Nguyen, M.Ed., is the Program Administrator of Mathematics and Computer Science at San Francisco Unified School District. For over two decades, Ho has worked to support math instruction in San Francisco, first as a high school math teacher, then as a content specialist at the high school level, and now as a central office administrator. In the SFUSD math department, Nguyen supports math teachers at the secondary level through professional development and instructional coaching in addition to policy development and support. Nguyen was instrumental in beginning the Complex Instruction program in SFUSD, joining secondary mathematics teachers into an equity centered community. He has a Master’s in Urban Education and Leadership from the University of California, Berkeley. Nguyen has presented his work in SFUSD at multiple conferences including the Council of Great City Schools, California Math Council North, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.

Elizabeth Hull Barnes photo

Elizabeth Hull Barnes

Lizzy Hull Barnes, M.Ed, is the Supervisor of Mathematics and Computer Science at San Francisco Unified School District. She has taught math to preschool through adults in schools in Louisiana and around the Bay Area and has supported fellow teachers and coaches in San Francisco. She believes the Common Core has provided educators a window to reframe the question, "What does it mean to be good at math?" and through her work aims to recapture mathematics as a multidimensional discipline for her district’s students. Hull Barnes has presented SFUSD’s work in multiple venues including the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the Council of Great City Schools, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the California Math Council (CMC), and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM). She has published articles in EdSource and NCTM’s Catalyzing Change. She has also supported Stanford workshops with Professor Hilda Borko to think through the core attributes of a research practitioner partnership, considering both relationship and research design. She has collaborated with fellow math educators in multiple spaces, including intersegmental work designed with the Dana Center at UT Austin and the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences (CBMS). Hull Barnes received her Masters degree in Education, with an emphasis on Early Childhood, from Mills College in Oakland, and her Administrative credential from the Leadership Support Program (LSP) at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education.

Laura Wentworth photo

Laura Wentworth

Laura Wentworth, PhD, is the Director of Research Practice Partnerships at California Education Partners. For over a decade, Laura has worked to unite research, policy and practice by directing the Stanford University and San Francisco Unified School District partnership. She supported the development of the Stanford-Sequoia K-12 Research Collaborative and the Oakland Unified School District and UC Berkeley Partnership. She is also a Lecturer at Stanford University in two courses - Introduction to Research-Practice Partnerships and Advanced Partnership Research. Wentworth has served on the founding steering committee for the National Network of Education Research Practice Partnerships (NNERPP), and in 2020 received the Alumni Excellence in Education Early Career Award from Stanford University Graduate School of Education. In partnership with NNERPP members. Laura led the development and spread of the concept of brokering across RPPs by publishing the RPP Brokers Handbook. She has a Masters in instruction and curriculum from the University of Colorado, a Masters in the social sciences of education and a PhD in administration and policy analysis in education from Stanford University Graduate School of Education. Wentworth has articles and chapters published in and by Phi Delta Kappan, Teachers College Record, Educational Research, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Jossey Bass, Teachers College Press and Educational Policy.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Your Guidebook to Detracking Math

Part 1: Developing a Policy for Detracked Math Courses

Chapter 2: Getting to Know Your Policy Context

Chapter 3: Designing a Detracked Math Course Policy

Chapter 4: Gaining Support for a Detracked Math Course Policy

Part 2: Implementing a Policy of Detracked Math Courses

Chapter 5: Math Curriculum to Support Heterogeneous Classrooms

Chapter 6: Professional Development to Support Heterogeneous Classrooms

Chapter 7: Coaching Teachers to Support Heterogeneous Classrooms

Part 3: Maintaining Detracked Math Course Practice

Chapter 8: Crafting School Schedules That Support Heterogeneous Classrooms

Chapter 9: Considering Research Throughout Your Math Detracking Journey

Chapter 10: Monitoring and Maintaining a Detracked Math Policy



Price: $38.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

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