Ten Myths About Mathematics Education is an analysis by New York City HOLD (Hold Open Logical Debate).
In a Stanford Magazine feature, Jo Boaler, an education professor, says her research shows students in mixed-ability classes taught with reform techniques outperformed students in traditional, tracked classrooms.
Although students at the urban school were the weakest in math when they entered high school, within two years they were scoring better than their counterparts at the traditional-approach schools on tests designed by the study, and performing well on district exams. However, they did poorly on state standardized tests. Boaler says that’s largely because the state exams test language comprehension in addition to mathematical competency. Some students, she relates, emerged from the standardized exams saying things like, “What’s a soufflé?”
The fact that they excel on her tests but flub the state exams seems suspicious to me. If students understand math so well, why can’t they do it?