More on the British Boy Troubles
This is worth an extended look. The British gender gaps have been an issue for years. By contrast, the school gaps in the United States are only now getting some attention. That's why the British solutions are worth a look, especially the synthetic phonics approach.
In this country the synthetic phonics was the core of the discredited Reading First program launched under President Bush. Reducing racial learning gaps -- not gender gaps -- was the goal of that program, but it was always assumed that synthetic phonics was a technique that would help boys. Reading First, however never turned the corner into reading comprehension (possibly a fault of its execution by schools rather than its design). Regardless, the same result could play out in Britain unless the approach shifts gears into comprehension.