Students of color in the United States have historically been denied access to a college-preparatory mathematics education largely due to tracking policies and practices. To address this historical injustice, a partnership was developed between a highly diverse high school and higher education to initiate a collaborative process to detrack the mathematics program at the school. We report the results from empathy interviews conducted with the “Franklin High” administrative team and mathematics teachers. The four primary themes that emerged from the interviews concerned the school’s student diversity, the focus on preparing students to enter the IB course sequence, how detracking must go beyond simply providing equal access, and the importance of the Franklin High staff having an equity-oriented growth mindset. These findings accentuate how successful detracking efforts require stakeholders to have an historical understanding of the racist policies and practices that have led to segregated schools and tracked classrooms.
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