March 2011 Archives

Not the black boys who persist through the charters schools, but those who leave. All the study author is really saying is that black boys have a higher dropout rate, which is not surprising. I still maintain that the elite charters, KIPP, Uncommon Schools, Achievement First, etc., offer the best academic opportunities for urban black boys. From the Education Week story about the study: KIPP charter middle schools enroll a significantly higher proportion of African-American students than the local school districts they draw from, but 40 percent of the black males they enroll leave between grades 6 and 8, says ...


Minnesota Public Radio airs the debate, interviewing both Leonard Sax and Janet Hyde, a professor at the University of Wisconsin. Thanks to David Chadwell for a heads up on this one. (I'm on deadline with a commentary, so I haven't had a chance to listen; please flesh out with comments...thanks)...


A producer from NBC interviewed me for general background information, but I never saw what appeared on air earlier this month. Some more thoughts from a private school educator on the NBC piece and other related issues....


Nancy Grasmick is stepping down as Maryland schools superintendent. Grasmick has always been well aware of the decline in academic aspirations among boys. Plus, she identified the core of the problem, reading and writing deficits. It was Grasmick who pioneered the use of comic books to assist with reading instruction (okay, comic books give way eventually to graphic novels)....


Sound familiar?...


Interesting look at this issue in Economic Inquiry. From the press release: Educational Development Stunted by Teenage Fatherhood New Haven, CT--March 30, 2011-- Public interest in the issue of teenage childbearing has recently increased, largely due to increases in both the teen pregnancy rate and the teen birth rate. A new study from Economic Inquiry examines the negative educational and economic outcomes of teenage fatherhood, a topic far less researched than teenage motherhood. In their study the authors utilized the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a school-based, nationally representative longitudinal study of 7th to 12th graders in the United ...


Unparented elementary-age boys lashing out....


Oregon may offer some lessons for other rural areas where educators are trying to boost the college-going rate. This story doesn't break out numbers by gender...would be interesting to know that....


Want to study the impact of a government birth policy that has produced 37 million more men than women? Try China. An interesting new website, All Girls Allowed, has gathered the data on the impact....


Paucity of low-income students at elite colleges profiled at the Chronicle. (password protested). Truth is, those colleges are better at attracting low-income minorities than they are drawing in sons and daughters of the working class....


Interesting WSJ story on Portugal....


New York Times does a great job of telling this story in Iowa....


NPR profiles an anti-gang program there. From the piece: At least 15 students who attend Chicago Public Schools have died by gunfire during this school year. The number is higher for kids who are either dropouts or go to other types of schools. Chicago police report that the number of school-aged children shot to death in 2010 was 70. More than half of those were gang-related....


About time, right? With boys graduating from high school at far lower rates, drawing most of the suspension/expulsion actions, earning lower GPA's, and wandering through life doped up on ADHD medicine, its about time the federal government stepped in to help out. Given President Obama's campaign to boost college enrollment/graduation rates, a federal civil rights campaign is logical -- 61 percent of those earning two-year degrees are women, 57 percent of those earning four-year degrees. So naturally, the feds are taking action ... on behalf of girls who aren't signing up for high school sports at the same rate ...


Why is this issue only written about abroad? The gaps are just as stark in this country....


Sax v. Eliot in the WSJ....


Tom Sticht takes the negative slant on that question....


Good story in the Times about boosting the number of women there. Good lessons for other universities, keeping in mind that universities such as MIT can skim off the top....


The president and CEO of the Center on Education Policy says it all here. If we don't boost reading and writing skills of boys, we're looking at serious economic consequences. From the commentary: .Females are graduating from high school at higher rates than males. Nationally, 72 percent of female students graduate from high school, compared with 65 percent of male students. • The gender gap in high school graduation rates is particularly large for students of color. Among African American youth, about 59 percent of girls and 48 percent of boys completed high school. Among Latino youth, about 58 percent of ...


Check out the American Council on CoEducational Schooling, where you'll find the latest arguments on why you should keep your child in a co-ed school setting. The director of communications is Lise Eliot, author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain, someone who frequently clashes with Leonard Sax from the National Association for Single Sex Public Education. I don't have a dog in this fight. I've seen single-sex schools that work well for boys, and I've seen traditional co-ed schools that work well for boys. To me, what's important is how you teach, what you're teaching and your attitude about whether it's ...


As Richard Kahlenberg points out in the Chronicle, the issue of colleges reaching deeper into their applicant pools to draw in male candidates muddies the political waters. The groups you would expect to complain the loudest about discrimination against women -- national feminist groups and the American Association of University Women -- are mute. Why are they okay with discriminating against females? After watching the issue for years I've come up with three explanations. First, liberals want to safeguard the freedoms granted to admissions officials to pick the freshman class they want, which includes putting the thumb down to favor ...


Who has the brighter prospects after being laid off from the Maytag plants? Fascinating stuff here....


Slate's Double X Gabfest, which includes Hanna Rosin, discusses the state of manhood, including Kay Hymowitz's book, Manning Up. Interesting discussion, except Rosin keeps insisting that women have been doing better than men in school for 100 years. Perhaps when it comes to GPA, but the relevant measure is college graduation rate, and those gaps are relatively new. Whatever is happening to men started only about 25 years ago....


But don't blame teachers, argue these teacher college professors. Hmmm. Aren't they supposed to be instructing new teachers on how to re-engage boys?...


Inside Higher Education writes about the decision by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to abandon its probe into college admissions discrimination against women. That's unfortunate, for a couple of reasons. First, the practice obviously discriminates against women who are penalized for their academic success by being held to a higher standard (although I completely understand why admissions directors do it; you don't want your campus drifting above 60 percent female). Men take advantage of that sex ratio, inviting abusive relationships. Mostly it's unfortunate because the investigation could have exposed the obvious failures by K-12 schools to educate boys ...


The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has abandoned its effort to research gender discrimination in college admissions that favors boys. In a 4-3 vote on March 11, the commission gave up on its probe, with the majority of the commissioners saying the data they received from the colleges and universities they selected were too jumbled to compare. (Sorry, there's no link to a press release; all I have is an uncorrected transcript of the discussion leading up to the vote to set aside the investigation.) In theory, the probe should not have been difficult. Some admissions directors and college ...


I've never bought into the conspiracy theory that boys are suffering because educators are cutting back on their freedom to run wild during recess. The successful charter schools I've visited made better use of that time, as written about here....


The problem in Florida is more boys than girls want to play sports, which exposes high school to gender inequity infractions. Immediate action is needed, say high school educators, to attract more young girls into sports. But boys can lag far behind girls in academic outcomes and no action is needed. It's good to know our K-12 educators have their priorities right....


Couldn't resist this one.">Tried, but failed, to resist posting this....


Great article in Inside Higher Education about women dominating undergraduate student populations (in most of the world) but men dominating university leadership posts -- and top leadership positions in business and government. Some of this phenomenon is probably nothing more complicated than waiting for society to catch up to the higher education realities. Witness the climbing number of women in Congress and the studies showing that in major cities young women out earn their male counterparts. Other pieces involve gender differences in negotiating skills, as pointed out in the article. And women making different career decisions to accommodate child raising ...


The numbers don't lie: Women were responsible for electing Obama and the Republicans aren't going to give up hope on the female vote. So we can expect to see more of this. There are 50 reasons why women earn less than men, and not many of the reasons have anything to do with discrimination. As the father of two girls, I would be the first to express anger if I thought discrimination was the driver behind the salary gaps. Bottom line: The politics behind this issue aren't going to change. The irony, of course, is that when I speak about ...


I can't prove it through research, but as a parent I pick this factor -- avoiding tough and uncomfortable negotiations -- as a huge player. Women need to get a lot better at this, and the "cure" starts with parenting....


Separating boys and girls at lunch....


I think there may be a reason why the examples of students setting/achieving (non-sports) goals in this WSJ piece are all girls....


Developments from Seattle and West Virginia. I'm trying very hard to resist repeating my warning: What's the backup plan?...


Why is there no White House Council on Men and Boys? asks professor Mark Perry. Excellent question, considering the chapter titles he cites from the recent report on women and girls: 1. Women's gains in educational attainment have significantly outpaced those of men over the last 40 years. 2. Female students score higher than males on reading assessments and lower than males on mathematics assessments. 3. Higher percentages of women than men age 25-34 have earned a college degree. 4. More women than men have received a graduate education. 5. Women earn the majority of conferred degrees overall but earn ...


Irish psychotherapist attempts to answer a question being asked by tens of thousands of parents around much of the globe: My son has last interest in school. What do I do about it?...


Paul Krugman in the Times. (Which men are not earning at the same rate as women.) Does this mean degrees matter less? Much of this debate misses the point by measuring only the four-year degree, overlooking the reality that even many blue collar jobs require post-high school study of some kind....


I'd feel better about this plan if it didn't sound like a Hail Mary....


From David Leonhardt at The New York Times: One more thought on the Hamilton Project chart showing a big decline in men's wages since 1969: it is not depicting the wage history of a typical male worker. The typical 50-year full-time male worker, for instance, is not making 28 percent less than the equivalent man was in 1969. Instead, the chart is showing the combination of two disturbing trends. One, wages for male workers have been roughly flat over the last 40 years, after taking inflation into account. Two, many more men are not working at all. They are on ...


Review of the book "Crazy U" about the insane college application process (I've been through it twice recently) includes this about the gender imbalances: Matters have been complicated in recent years by the success of girls, who persist in outperforming boys academically in high school and outnumbering them in college. But a university may admit so many girls that a tipping point is reached, making boys even less likely to apply or, as Mr. Ferguson notes, "attracting the wrong kind of boys for the wrong reasons." Admissions officers have tried to rectify this problem by making schools more appealing to ...


What doesn't get answered here is what has changed. Why do boys need to sit on balls now when two decades ago we did just fine sitting in desks?...


Nice essay from John Merrow drawing on the advice of E.D. Hirsch, Mike Smith and Linda Katz....


As always, she's right on target, not to mention a great read....


This essay from Britain doesn't focus on boys, but we already know that white boys from blue collar families are really struggling there....


No doubt, all parents will agree with this assessment....


My question: Why are those of us struggling to figure out why men keep losing ground, especially in education, left to reverse engineer reports like this one.? Given the slippage among males, and what that could mean for our global competitiveness, shouldn't men warrant their own report?...


Columnist questions Kay Hymowitz's conclusions -- but not the marriageable mate observation....


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