October 2010 Archives

That's the conclusion of this British study. I have not seen any studies in this country reaching that conclusion. What's interesting about this study is that both girls and boys did better when taught by teachers....


As pointed out in this letter to the editor in the Post, the efforts by small colleges to draw more men can backfire. If federal authorities/legal precedent concludes that granting admissions preferences to males is illegal, including preferences to fill out those football teams, then all gender weighting favoring men gets eliminated. Which pushes up the percentage of women, which in turn triggers Title IX sports restrictions, which in turn eliminates the football team. How about a female football team? That would work....


That question is debated in Danbury, Conn....


That's a strategy some colleges are using to attract men. Maryland's Stevenson College is the subject of a page 1 Post article today. It works, in a way. Until you realize everyone's playing in a zero-sum game here. I wrote about the same in 2008 while working on the USA Today editorial page and then wrote a blog about the larger trend. The New York Times beat me to it by two years. (Note to Post reporter: Stevenson has run short of males because of incarceration rates? 'I was going to 'jack that Beamer 'til I heard Stevenson was starting ...


That's the subject of two books reviewed in The Wall Street Journal....


DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, who wrote a great foreword for Why Boys Fail, is the subject of a biography I'm finishing that will be released in late January, The Bee Eater. The title comes from an incident when she was teaching in Baltimore and struggling to maintain discipline in the classroom. A bee flew through the window, which caused the students to dissolve into complete chaos. Rhee slapped the bee, popped it into her mouth and swallowed. Immediately, the class calmed a bit: she must be crazy, they thought, and therefore worthy of some respect. I'll keep blogging on ...


The New York Times writes a (nearly) great editorial today about the slipping proportion of science and engineering majors (we now rank 27th out of the 29 comparable wealthy nations) and somehow neglects to mention why this happening: the campus gender gaps. Look at this 2006 study of California public universities: the university population soared during the study time period but the number of engineering majors declined. Why? Because the enrollment increase were driven by women, who are choosing other majors. I've written dozens of blogs on the need to encourage more women to undertake majors in computer science/engineering (women...


Drop by for a discussion of Why Boys Fail....


A comparison of campus gender gaps done by the NYU newspaper. At urban universities such as NYU (60 percent female) the gaps have less impact than at universities located in rural areas or smaller cities where the social life is confined to the campus population....


Toronto's Globe & Mail wraps up its six-part series on the boy troubles with an editorial listing five steps that could help boys. This is the most impressive project newspaper project I've ever seen on the issue. If The New York Times or Wall Street Journal ever did the same in this country, policy would change. I'm only somewhat enthusiastic about the five they chose -- it's fair to say their list reflects the conventional wisdom about what's needed. But that's less important than the value of highlighting these issues for educators, who tend to ignore gender gaps....


That's the discussion at Canada's McMaster University after realizing that 77 percent of the medical school admits were women. Why the imbalance? Because the admissions standards are based on grade point averages and women earn better grades. This is part of the excellent Globe & Mail series on the gender gaps....


Why, asks commentary writer Richard Vedder in the Chronicle of Higher Education, are 17 million Americans with four-year degrees working in jobs that don't require those degrees? Isn't that a waste of an education? Isn't that proof that far too many people go to college? This is an important issue in the boys debate. Why worry so much about the college gender gaps if those men don't really need college anyway? My answer: because college is the new high schools. Employers have lots of hiring options. To many, only applicants with two or four-year-degree have the demonstrated people skills desired ...


That goal, to boost the United States to the top of world rankings for college completion, won't happen, and today's report from the American Council on Education makes it clear why: men are not completing college at the same rate as women. The Post's version. If Obama and the national foundations dedicated to boosting college attainment rates want to make progress toward the 2020 goal they can start by knocking down the de facto moratorium they maintain on acknowledging the gender gaps. The DOE has not issued a single study on the gender gaps. And it's possible to read through ...


Thanks to Jon Wolfer for sending me this Harvard Education Letter piece on what's playing out ... so to speak ... in kindergarten these days....


From the Guardian. That's roughly what you'd find in this country....


The Canadians, whose gender gaps mirror those in the U.S., seem all over the topic. This from Maclean's....


Okay, a quick qualification: it was to a Canadian reporter, part of the Globe and Mail mega-project now playing out. Definitely worth a read. Is it possible no U.S. reporter has ever asked him about the gender gaps? In Chicago, Duncan was surrounded by good research on the issue from the Consortium on Chicago School Research (that's where the term "genderization of race" first appeared). The college prep high schools there are desperately short on guys. The boys troubles are hard to miss. This Canadian interview is important stuff. I've never heard Duncan opine on the issue. His preferred ...


There's more interest in the gender gaps in Canada (and England, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere) than you find in the United States, despite the fact the gaps are roughly the same. I can't explain why. My only theory is that when the "boy troubles" first surfaced in this country they were seen as a right-wing assault on the gains made by feminists. (The highly influential book, "The War on Boys," by Christina Hoff Sommers blamed feminists for the gender gaps. Consider the book's subtitle: "How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men"). As such, the gender gaps were dismissed ...


If you're only educating half the county, how can you push up our competitive index? Good question asked in this commentary. The (correct) answer offered in the piece for why districts get away with only doing a good job educating girls: they aren't asked (by law) to pay attention to gender. The problem with that answer: if you don't pay attention to gender you won't solve the challenges you're required by law to address, race and income....


Another single-sex experiment, this time in Maine....


That's what they say the Good Men Project Magazine is all about....


Yes, you need them (including the men who aren't getting them). More than you think, argues Kevin Carey in the Chronicle. (password may be needed)...


That's the conclusion of this Berkeley study. That's not surprising. On state tests boys and girls score roughly the same. Actually, the overall trend is that girls are pushing ahead of boys. This study is important, however, because it cuts into the dangerous mythology that boys are good at math, girls are good at reading, and nobody should worry if boys are far behind in literacy skills. These days ... it matters....


That's Houghton Mifflin's take, as the company introduces an intervention designed to boost the interest of boys in reading....


One in six British boys can't write their name by the age of five. Pushing a formal reading curriculum on boys too early -- a theme that will sound familiar to readers of this blog -- gets the blame....


Good piece in the Philly Inquirer, but the reporter settles too easily into the theory that the gender gaps are driven only by minority men. Is that the case at the University of Delaware? I suspect there's more to it. Reporters given this many inches might also want to spend a graph or two exploring what all this means beyond college. (thanks to Chuck Meissner for spotting this one)...


Women may be earning more six-figure salaries, but the gaps among women -- generated by education differences -- are stark....


Interesting ... I can't imagine seeing this in the United States, despite the fact our gender gaps are just as steep. Some countries, including England and Australia, are far ahead of the U.S. in dealing with the issue. To date, the U.S. Department of Education has never even acknowledged the problem exists....


The auditorium at Santa Rosa Community College was full for this event....


Look no further....


Obama targets racial disparities in discipline. True, but what gets unsaid is that in many cases black boys act out in school because they'd rather get expelled than exposed as poor learners. The real issue is why so many black boys get to that stage in the first place. My book research pointed to literacy deficits that impact more black boys than black girls, shunting them into special ed, eventually leading to the discipline problems. Will Obama do it? Highly unlikely. This is the president who addressed the graduating class at Hampton University and somehow failed to notice the sea ...


Given the education differences, that's to be both expected and welcomed. I just hope the national women's advocacy groups can set aside their outdated "gender equity" campaign that has little to do with actual discrimination and move on to the more critical issue: persuading more women to major in areas of national economic importance: computer sciences, chemistry, physics....


From New Zealand, and it's not positive for males. But far better news from Ireland. I keep waiting for the recession effect to kick in here, and there's some evidence that's happening at two-year colleges. I'd be very surprised if we didn't see progress narrowing the higher education gap. Surely the "mancession" carried some sort of message to males....


This has probably been true forever. I found it everywhere in my book research travels. Both moms and dads hold their daughters to much higher school expectations, while telling themselves boys just take longer to mature ... let him express himself in sports. What has changed over time, however, is that in today's hurry-up schooling the boys often don't catch up. Instead, they arrive at their senior year of high school with poor academic preparation and limited higher education ambitions....


That's just an observation, but observations are all we have, given the refusal by the federal Department of Education to study single-sex education. Another experiment in Knoxville: Brother to Brother....


Why does it make a difference if women make up close to 60 percent of the four-year degrees awarded? Won't they just take the jobs that in years past were held by men? As the father of two daughters I like that notion, but in the real world it doesn't work out that way. Men and women pursue different interests, which is why the campus gender divide matters. As this piece in the New York Times appropriately asks: Where's the female Steve Jobs?...


A Rochester reporter does a good job describing an urban boys school there. My only quibble: articles like these should include the scientific skepticism about gender differences in learning styles. The verdict is still out on this one. Also, I've seen that research from Stetson University. It's great that we have the research, but even the Stetson researchers would probably concede that what they did falls short of the kind of national in-depth research that's needed on what works and doesn't work with single-sex education....


Stop by to hear Joe Manthey and I discuss the boy troubles....


New term for them: "gender-specific."...


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