January 2011 Archives

A Teacher's Protest Against Single-Sex

Interesting....


Males Less Educated, More Assertive

Men dominate Wikipedia. Is that a good thing?...


Snapshot of Black Boys in Oakland

And it's not pretty....


Controversy Over Separating Black Students

High school in Lancaster, Pa., experiments with brief separations, including by gender, to deal with learning gaps....


Men With Books

A British program aimed at getting boys to read more ... followed by an update on the latest animal dissection policy. Where's the warning to mind the gap?...


A Reversal of the 'Mancession'?

The economic misfortunes of men are swinging back, argues Heather Boushey in Slate....


The Obama/Duncan Education Reforms

In this USA Today op-ed I take a look at the reforms proposed by the president....


Worth the Time: If 'Boys of Baraka' Comes to Your Town

A movie about the education opportunity in Africa offered to boys in Baltimore....


Interesting Reading Program

Question: Why couldn't this be done on a large scale, with corporate backing and reading experts selecting boy-friendly reading material for every level? Answer: It could....


Rhee-Style Education Reforms

I don't mention the boys issue in this op-ed running in today's Washington Post, but this is very much about all the boys getting left behind. As you may recall, Michelle Rhee wrote the foreword to Why Boys Fail. She gets it....


A Culture of Low Expectations -- For Working Class White Boys

Don't assume that the situation in this country is that different. It's just that in this country nobody focuses on this....


Too Much Work, Not Enough Play Hurting Boys?

That's one of many conventional wisdoms about why boys don't like school. Parents are prone to pressuring schools to allow more unstructured run-around time. Sounds good, but I'm doubtful....


More Than High School, Less Than a Four-Year Degree

Don't get misled about the "middle skills" debate. Young people -- including men -- still need academic credentials beyond high school. From the Hechinger report article: Nationally, 27 percent of people with licenses and certificates also earn more than the average bachelor's degree recipient, according to Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Carnevale's newest data show that at least half of all anticipated job opportunities in the next seven years will be open to "middle-skill" workers like pharmacy technicians -- what Khorasani will be after he passes a certification exam. Training for such ...


Finally, Something Literary Where Men Excel: Op-eds

Among those submitting op-eds to newspaper, there are nine men for every woman. And that puzzles the WaPo ombudsman (who must be short of topics to write about). I can venture a guess: Men are angrier than women....


More (Anecdotal) Evidence of Girls Thriving in Single-Sex

This time in Fort Worth. As always, my hunch is that girls just respond better to any school innovation. Maybe we can persuade David Chadwell to share some observations from South Carolina....


What the Obits Don't Say

I met Kay Mills while on a journalism fellowship at Stanford Fellowship. Great person, and a great writer. Her passing is sad. That doesn't excuse sloppy obit writers, however, from pointing out what they know first hand, which is that much has changed since she championed women in the newsroom. Today, most newsrooms are dominated by women. At the TV network level, it is common to go into a meeting of top producers and find no men. Some local TV stations have given up on the male/female anchor format and gone with female/female. It doesn't dishonor Kay Mills ...


Brain-Based Debate, British Version

Can brain-based learning difference explain why British and Irish boys are lagging in school? Yes, reply those behind Brainsex Matters. Therefore, schools need to tailor their learning around those differences. In years to come we'll discover whether brain-based learning techniques are an important breakthrough in schooling -- or the most useless fad since open classrooms. To date, I don't think we know....


Recommended Read: Wendy Kopp's New Book

The book by the founder of Teach for America, A Chance to Make History, comes out on the 20th anniversary of TFA. Kopp nicely captures the essential character of the three schools I profile in Why Boys Fail and explains why those schools like those are successful for all students (including boys). The schools in my book -- two charters, one of which is an all-boys school, and a traditional elementary school in Delaware -- benefit from "transformational" leadership coming from both teachers and principals. The point here is that transformational leadership is more important than the structure, be it ...


Girls Benefit Most from Single-Sex?

It's just a theory, based on nothing more than anecdotal observations from news reports. But it is striking....


Leonard Sax vs. Cordelia Fine

Conflicting thinking on whether there's a hard-wired difference in the way men and women think and learn. It all plays out on NPR. Thanks to Chuck Meissner for passing that along....


Is This What It Takes to Turn Boys Into Readers?

Just kidding. No comment on this one....


Getting Poor Results? Try Single Sex

That's the thinking in Stockton. Have I mentioned before that the education world is prone to fads. Not that single-sex education can't be effective if done right, but still... Again the question for boys: If this doesn't work, what's the backup plan?...


Gamer Boys Take Another Hit

Where do loner males seek out conversation? You guessed it. Including Jared....


Loner Boys Over the Edge

Interesting column in the WaPo about the Tucson shootings and reclusive, angry boys....


What Boys Are In Trouble?

Author/psychologist Michael Thompson does a great job here laying out the most vulnerable boys and the best antidotes....


Minority -- and Gender -- Gaps in California

California reporter breaks out the CEP report. From the report: The study points out a new concern: the gender gap. The report says that in 2009, the nation's girls outperformed boys in reading in nearly every state, including California. The gap is almost 10 percentage points in some states. For California fourth-graders, it is only 1 percentage point. Jennings said the gender gap is consistent in every state at every grade level, and that results of international tests show it exists in all industrialized countries....


'Your Son Is Doing Well'

That teacher's assessment was about a boy getting only a fourth of the test questions right, which is why this mother decided to home school her son. I don't usually try to offer advice to parents with boys -- my writing focuses on policy. Here's the one exception: When your teacher tells you, 'Don't worry about your son's poor grades ... Boys start out slowly but always catch up,' don't buy it. Look for a new teacher, a new school even. These days, too many boys aren't catching up....


More Fact Finding From Canada

Five boys drop out of high school there for every three girls....


Chadwell's Response to Eliot

I'm a bit tardy in publishing David Chadwell's response to Lise Eliot's (author, Pink Brain, Blue Brain) article in Slate questioning the South Carolina survey on single-sex education, mostly because I didn't see it in Slate. As observant reader E Jones points out, however, Chadwell repeats his response in the latest edition of Gender Matters. Chadwell's response: MY RESPONSE AS POSTED IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF SLATE. It is important to question findings. First though, this report is of a survey, not a study. It never was presented as a study. As the introduction explains, it was to take the ...


Getcha 'Gender Matters' Now!

In South Carolina, David Chadwell takes on the task the U.S. Department of Education ducks here in Washington. Chadwell includes a link to the ASCD special report on Teaching Boys. And, there's a link for the 5th Annual Teacher-to-Teacher Conference in Columbia, S.C., in March. I have a suggestion for a project for Chadwell to take on, which I blogged on here. The South Carolina single-sex initiatives are probably the most ambitious in the nation. If we're going to offer up single-sex education as the best solution to the boy troubles (a strategy I think is too limiting), ...


Decline in Marriageable Males

The topic I consider the most newsworthy emerging from the boy troubles gets discussed in this WaPo commentary by columnist Harold Meyerson. As he points out, the phenomenon has spread to white, working class males: The social pathologies long associated with the inner-city poor - single-parent households, births out of wedlock, drug and alcohol abuse - now stalk the white working class in rural and post-industrial regions far removed from big cities. The middle is falling. Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, has noted that as wages and employment levels have fallen for the Americans who have graduated ...


'Man Up' Comes to Dallas

Program aimed at African American male students. This fits into the 'role model' school of fixes for the boy troubles. Can't hurt, and is undoubtedly part of the solution. I'm more interested in why so many black males end up in special education for reading deficiencies....


Single-Sex Experiments in Detroit

A better-than-average article on an experiment there. My bet: The experiment was launched mostly for the boys, who are falling behind, but in the end the girls will end up benefiting more -- not because they respond to single-sex instruction better but rather because they respond better to any school innovation. They are more invested in school....


British Debate on Gender, Race and Class

What interests me about this unique focus coming out of Britain is my hunch that we'd find something similar if we ever looked for it in this country. From the article: By the age of 16, only 23% of white boys eligible for free school meals achieved five or more GCSE exams at grade C or better, in subjects including English and maths. This was a significantly worse success rate than for all other poor pupils on free school meals, among whom 34% achieved the target of five good grades, which is regarded as the benchmark for further study and ...


D.O.G.S. In Action

I like this group. Men as reading role models -- Dads of Great Students....


Progress in Baltimore

Reforming suspension policies can boost graduation rates among African American males, Baltimore finds. This is an experiment possibly worth copying in other districts. But it still falls into the Band-Aid category: what prompts the behaviors that lead to the suspensions?...


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