Consensus on Cause of Boy Troubles?
There are still multiple theories out there, most of which contain some truth. But the multiple theories serve as a barrier to action -- it just all seems so hopeless, especially if the causes are seen to be cultural.
Some of the clear causes, however, are "actionable," such as the literacy issue, which I see as the biggest trigger. If educators could concentrate on just that one major thread we might see a turnaround of this gender slide. In the New York Post, Maggie Gallagher focuses on literacy.
What worries me are the signals that top educators may be settling on a 'solution' that won't prove to be a solution. Arne Duncan, for example, praises programs that steer more black men into teaching. Those are worthwhile programs, but embracing those efforts as a broad solution would be a mistake. First, this is a problem that affects more than minority males. Second, the gender of the teacher matters less than what's being taught, and how that material is taught.