How School Policies, Procedures, and Leadership Approaches Impact Students’ Opportunity to Learn Math

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Educational Leadership


In this paper, we explore how students experience inequality in terms of tracking in mathematics education in high schools in the United States using data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009. Using a critical quantitative framework, we employ multigroup multilevel path analysis to identify students’ differing track placements related to student identity and academic factors in the context of race/ethnicity. After identifying these differing experiences of math tracking, we then consider what roles school policies, produces, and leadership approaches impact those differing levels. Our findings suggest that Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous students are overrepresented in remedial courses–particularly when counselor and teacher recommendations weigh more heavily in track assignment than students’ test scores or previous grades. Based on these findings, we offer recommendations for practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to enable more students to access higher-level courses and improve student achievement.


Tracking, School Counseling, Mathematics Education, Quantitative Methods


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Science and Mathematics Education | Secondary Education

This document is currently not available here.