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Does Single-Sex Education Work?

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With the U.S. Department of Education’s clarification of the rules on single sex-education last year, which made it clear that public schools could legally educate boys and girls separately, the number of such public school programs is on the rise, reports the Hartford Courant in Connecticut. The article takes a look at Hartford’s Fox Middle School, one of the oldest single-sex public school programs in the country, but also points out that the research on single-sex education is very mixed. Researchers have been unable to say definitively that educating girls and boys apart increases (or decreases) academic achievement. But some of those in the programs are clearly pleased. “Girls can be mad annoying,” says a New Haven, Conn. fifth-grader who is in a boys-only class.

For more information on the growing number of single-sex public programs in the country, check out the Web site for the National Association for Single Sex Public Education, which promotes such programs. For the other side, take a peek at the National Women’s Law Center’s information on gender equity in education.

Do you teach in a single-sex classroom? Does your school offer such programs? Has it worked in your area? We’d like to hear more about how single-gender education is playing out across the country.

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