Let us take a look with Goodlad and Anderson (4) at a typical classroom of two or three decades ago. The students were seated by unwritten law—the first graders by the windows, the eighth graders on the other side of the room by the blackboard, and the rest in between according to grade. Our attention is drawn at once to a seat near the window where Ernie is trying to fit himself into a much-too-small seat, long -lanky legs, of necessity, in the aisle. The pale face under the shock of carrot-red hair makes Ernie look as though he might be made up as a clown for the school fair. But Ernie is not made up. Ernie is very real, with an IQ of about 68. He has occupied that seat by the window for seven years. Why? Well, you cannot move across the room with the other children when you cannot read as well as they read. There are standards, and those standards require that a third grader read as a third grader should, and that a seventh grader read as a seventh grader should. Ernie is not as bad off as he might be, however. If he were in a large school system, the other children his size would be moved on to a different room. At least here he is in the same room with them, and he can associate with them and play with them. Or can he? They do not want him around. He loses his temper. They complain that he uses abusive language. Poor Ernie is a misfit. He cannot read with them, and he cannot play with them.
Evans, G. F. (1963). Reading in the Ungraded School. Reading Horizons, 3 (4). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol3/iss4/3