May 2010 Archives

Frankly, I don't buy it, but you can read all about it here. To me, homework is a symptom, not a cause....


Children are seven times more likely to own a mobile device than a book, according to the study described in this Daily Mail article. Combine that finding with the recently discussed finding that academic success can be predicted by the number of books found in the home and mix it all together with the fact that the world has gotten more verbal, and ... you know where this headed, especially with boys....


That's the complaint from ADHD specialists. There are so many boys inflicted with ADHD that researchers lose track of the fact that girls can also be ADHD and their symptoms are very different. Weird....


That's the forecast made in the Department of Education's Condition of Education, released today. Here's the story in the Chronicle (password protected). What's interesting is that other reports, including a recent study from the American Council on Education, indicated that the college gender gaps have stabilized. Anecdotal evidence from community colleges suggested that the percentage of male graduates might be increasing. I believe I'm allowed to offer up a brief excerpt from the Chronicle story; Men's Share of College Enrollments Will Continue to Dwindle, Federal Report Says By Peter Schmidt Washington Women now account for a disproportionate share of the ...


Chicago's urban prep, where only four percent of the boys admitted four years earlier were reading at grade level, is an outstanding example of an urban boys charter school that works. Today, all those young men are headed to college. Excellence Boys Charter School in New York, is another. Study these two schools and you'll discover what works in all-boys urban charter schools. Here's a glimpse into Urban Prep. Take note of Urban Prep's emphasis: Urban Prep would focus its curriculum on literacy and language arts, making it mandatory that the youths learn public speaking skills. Boys typically score lower ...


The gender gap is overall average earnings that favors men is a frustrating issue. I see no connection between this and the boys/academic I issue I follow. But feminist groups see it differently, so the issue has to be addressed. The most outspoken of these groups see discrimination as the root cause of the earnings gap; economists tend to see personal choices as the cause. From my perspective, it all starts in college when men and women choose very different course of studies. Here's a contribution from The New York Times that may explain why men and women in ...


Yes, the nation's dropout rate is a huge obstacle to President Obama's goal to push the United States to the top of the international education rankings by 2020, but who's not graduating? Until the administration acknowledges it has a gender problem (and not just a race and income problem) we'll never turn the corner on achieving that goal....


Here's an opportunity to study gender learning differences -- assuming you think they're significant enough to study. These folks do. Their press release: DICK AND JANE IN THE CLASSROOM RTC LAUNCHES GROUNDBREAKING PROGRAM FOR TEACHERS ON THE GENDERED BRAIN Helps Teachers Work with Gender Differences in the Classroom Randolph, NJ (May 11, 2010) - Do boys and girls learn differently? You bet they do! Now, The Regional Training Center (RTC), a leading provider of professional development programs for teachers in NJ, PA and MD, has incorporated the latest medical research behind these critical differences into a groundbreaking training program that ...


The evidence that single-sex schools will help boys is lacking, concluded the Calgary Board of Education. If anything, single-sex education helps girls more than boys, according to one educator quoted in the story, which is my observation from watching anecdotal material reported from schools engaging in single-sex experiments. The lack of research into what works, and doesn't work, with single-sex education is my biggest concern about the fast growing single-sex programs in the United States. It's possible that single-sex education is a good option for boys, and some inner-city, all-boys charter schools indicate that it can be highly effective. But ...


Raise them in a house with lots of books, according to the research described in this Chronicle story. Again, the key is literacy -- the ingredient missing in so many boys....


Great piece -- a book review, really -- in The New York Times....


Uh, yes. And Mark Sherman in this column in Psychology Today lays out the reasons....


One of my favorite data crunchers, MDRC, has done more work on the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program and the numbers look good. Eighty percent of the participants are male. The conclusion: --Program participants were much more likely than the control group to have obtained a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate (GED) (about 61 percent vs. 36 percent). --More likely to have earned college credits (25 percent vs. 10 percent). --Program group members were more likely to be engaged in productive activities. For example, 72 percent of the program group were working, in school or training, ...


Forbes does a decent job summing up the issues and recent evidence. What's lacking is a discussion of the controversies about "brain based" education. The piece points to the political debate (but misses the behind-the-scenes lobbying to curtail the single-sex public option): So far, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the movement's most outspoken opponent. It has initiated three lawsuits--two currently active--against schools that have segregated classes by sex. One lawsuit against a Louisiana school board was settled out of court. The remaining lawsuits, one in Kentucky and a second in Louisiana, charge that the schools did not give ...


Here I am, talking about Why Boys Fail....


If you're interested in single-sex public education, South Carolina is the place to watch, and David Chadwell's bulletin the reading material you need....


The smartest commentator on higher education, at least by my measure, is Kevin Carey, who weighs in on the topic of whether college is for everyone in the Chronicle....


Not all the education news these days is dismal, Andy Rotherham and I argue in U.S. News & World Report. The developments we list are great news for inner city males -- especially the Houston charter schools....


Given what we know about gender gaps in reading, why don't reports such as this one from the Annie Casey Foundation break out the data by gender. Doing it by race and income doesn't begin to touch the problem. If No Child Left Behind had included gender as an AYP accountability measure we wouldn't have this problem....


So much for the theory from conservatives that feminists are to blame for the boy troubles....


This piece in the Times makes the case for earning that degree. Again, why is it that the case against college is only made by those who went to good colleges and made sure their children did the same?...


True, not everyone needs a four-year degree, but there's no denying that college, or some kind of post-high school education, is a requirement for more jobs, even if college skills aren't demanded....


There's more to the boy troubles than race, Lorenzo Esters and I argue in a commentary in today's New York Daily News. Solving those problems demands a little more honesty from our leaders, however. President Obama, who called for leveling racial achievement gaps at the Hampton graduation, somehow overlooked what had to be obvious: 70 percent of those graduating were female....


Rather, Elena Kagan suffers from the marriageable mate effect, according to Post columnist Ruth Marcus....


True, but what the pro-college pushback movement doesn't get is that college has become the new high school. Sure, some professions such as welding and plumbing will remain outliers, good paying jobs that don't require college degrees, but on the other side of the ledger is a far larger number of jobs that once didn't require degrees but now do....


From The Telegraph....


More evidence that we'll never reduce racial learning gaps without addressing gender, from Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy....


From a country that's far ahead of the United States is confronting its academic gender gaps....


President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, thrived at an all-girls public high school in New York City, Hunter College High School. That can't help the behind-the-scenes campaign by women's advocacy groups to overturn the Department of Education's rules on allowing districts to form single-sex classes and schools....


That's the finding from this study, laid out in The Washington Post. This is an area that needs a healthy dose of national research. When are boys harmed, versus helped, by early childhood education? Is it just a matter of steering away from scripted reading programs?...


There's some logic to that. Here's an AP story laying out the case that more men than women got hired as the economy began to recover. Thanks to Scott Steinbrecher for noticing this one....


Dropout Nation, which is doing some valuable research on this, does it again....


The President urged Hampton graduates to level racial education gaps. What he could not have failed to notice in the audience was that 64% of Hampton graduates are women. Seems like closing racial learning gaps should start with closing the racial gender gaps....


New study from Brookings laid out in Inside Higher Ed. President Obama's goal of pushing the United States to the top of world education attainment by 2020 seems distant, which again raises the question: why does the gender gap get ignored? That's the low hanging fruit here....


Perhaps, but the evidence offered here is not only odd but unconvincing....


That's the headline atop this WSJ piece. Thanks to Scott Steinbrecher for passing it along. And what kind of marriageable mate do these men make?...


In my book I write about a promising experiment in Maryland schools that melds the two. Here's another interesting idea called Bitstrips for Schools. Says Shahan Panth from Bitstrips: We didn't develop our comic-making software with boys especially in mind, but since going online 7 months ago, we've heard from many, many teachers that it's doing wonders to motivate boys who are usually disruptive or indifferent to start paying attention, take an interest in writing and reveal their creativity....


But under her tenure the state botched a probe into the boy problems, allowing it to get steered into an exercise in political correctness. It's all in Why Boys Fail. An interview with Susan Gendron....


The American Enterprise Institute has graciously arranged a forum session on the gender gap issue May 17 4-5:30 p.m. I'll be on a panel with (thoughtful) skeptic Sara Mead, AEI scholar Christina Hoff Sommers (author of The War Against Boys) and possibly a college admissions officer to discuss the challenges they face. Plus, the always-interesting, sometimes-terrifying Rick Hess will oversee the event. If you've never been to an AEI forum you've missed something unique. Adjust your travel plans accordingly. Here's the info: Richard Whitmire's Why Boys Fail The Unexpected Gender Gap in Education Book Forum Date: Monday, May ...


From the Philadelphia Daily News....


Progress at a Pittsburgh school? That's claimed here. To me, this only renews the need for federal researchers to step in with medical-style research and determine what works and what doesn't work. And this from Asheville. Not for academics?...


Sax's latest book, Girls on the Edge, looks at the downside of the generation of alpha girls emerging. (Sax always makes feel like a complete slacker.) If you have password access, Mark Bauerlein has a great column about the book in the Chronicle....


For my book research, I visited the University of Maine at Farmington to take a look at what happens to campuses that become more than two thirds female. I still remember the dorm tour when I popped into a room where three guys were snacking and playing video games. What's it like for guys here? I asked. One student looked at me, smiled, and answered: sweeeet. Well, life got sweeter for him, as some women marched to win the right to go topless (isn't it still chilly there?). From Inside Higher Ed....


The New York Times on how technology impacts social relationships....


California has a tight budget, but there may be more than dollar savings at stake in this move. It might help boys. Thanks to Joe Manthey for passing along this article. It's not that early school always hurts boys; it's more that the way it's done in many places can trigger unintended consequences....


Thanks for Scott Steinbrecher for passing along this analysis of economic trends which deals with the special impact on males -- especially males lacking a college degree. Sound familiar?...


This oddly written piece in the New York Times about successful/unsuccessful charters (It would be news if Uncommon Schools couldn't replicate its success. The fact that most charters do no better, or even worse, than comparable neighborhood schools is not news) is still worth a read, mostly because it conveys the teaching rhythm found in elite charters. Williamsburg Collegiate is part of the Uncommon Schools network that includes Excellence Boys Charter School of Bedford Stuyvesant, which I profile in my book. These schools succeed with boys regardless of whether they are single sex or co-ed. Similar teaching approaches are ...


Here's an article by a talented education reporter at City Limits, Helen Zelon. What do single-sex boys schools attempt to do, compared to the girls' schools?...


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