April 2011 Archives

Pam Allyn's Best Book for Boys is written like a guy wrote it, only a guy didn't. It's practical, divided into topics and ages, and offers quick descriptions after each title. Just what any parent needs walking into a bookstore or trolling Amazon. My favorite part is an extensive Q&A written in a breezy manner telling you just what you need to know: Question #21: How do you feel about "light" books such as Captain Underpants? Allyn responds: "I LOVE these books. They've been radically helpful in getting boys to read." (And then she follows with a thorough response.) ...


A founding mother considers the history of the day, and why boys were added....


Great story in the WSJ about China, where the world's most dramatic marriageable mate imbalance experiment is playing out. From the article: China has rolled out new population figures, unearthing--among a host of fresh data--some revealing information on the gender gap. The good news: China's gender gap is shrinking. The bad news: It may not be shrinking fast enough. According to figures released Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics, slightly less than 51.3% of China's population is male, falling from just above 51.6% in the year 2000. According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the current male-female ...


The AAUW is unhappy with my Inside Higher Education commentary lamenting the closure of the investigation into college admissions preferences granted to men. Lisa Maatz from the AAUW offers up their side, denying that discrimination exists. Really? Even though countless admissions directors at private colleges concede they do it? It is revealing that the AAUW is forced to contort themselves to "prove" their point: When looking at all colleges and universities, women enjoy a two percentage point advantage in admittances, writes Maatz. As the AAUW knows, this issue has never involved "all" colleges. Nearly all public universities stay away from ...


If this Texas proposal becomes a reality it will be interesting to see whether this will make college more appealing to men, who currently may view college strictly in transactional terms....


These are choices, of course, but the choices seem to be influenced by the education mismatches. Atlanta JC columnist offers her take on the issue....


Changing gender roles cited as one of the reasons. There's no way to break out the marriageable mate factor, but it's still worth noting the development....


Among workers, women passing men in educational attainment....


Think twice about that, I write in USA Today....


Scripps Howard writer explains how men can dominate college campuses, at least the dating scene, despite their few numbers....


Typically, a news article about Title IX struggles on campus can run 25 inches or longer and never even mention the core issue: The pinch isn't just about more men than women wanting to play sports; the pinch comes from gender imbalanced campuses. Points to The New York Times for getting it right today....


Jean Claude Brizard cites suspension rates of black and Latino boys....


Budget cuts put highly regarded program in peril. From the Chronicle (password protected)....


Probably not, but here's an interesting discussion in the wsj, including a reference to a book I was unaware of: Influence: How Women's Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better....


I explore the implications in a commentary for Inside Higher Education....


Unfortunately, we're talking about one school, one teacher....


In the Chronicle Kevin Carey takes on Kay Hymowitz over the marriageable mate dilemma, arguing that her math is wrong. What everyone seems to miss is that the point is not whether Ms. Harvard will marry Mr. Florida State, but rather whether Ms. Florida State will marry someone who never earned a college degree at all....


The briefing (which I will moderate) is on May 17, 10 a.m. to noon. The focus of the briefing will be a new report on the state of boys and men delivered by higher education consultant Tom Mortenson. From the Boys Initiative: In recent years evidence has begun to mount indicating that boys are regressing in the areas of academic achievement, social adjustment, health and well being. Boys' setbacks in these areas will inexorably lead to America's economic decline unless we begin to take steps to acknowledge, arrest and reverse them. Among the data documenting this slide have been ...


Dennis Walcott wants to add more single-sex options for parents. And the New York Civil Liberties Union objects: "There are issues of policy here that are of serious concern," said NYCLU Director Donna Lieberman, who pointed to a lack of data that the schooling model works. "In a school system that is supposed to be data-driven and that purportedly values diversity, it's terribly disappointing to hear about plans for proliferating gender-segregated models," she added. "It sends a terrible message to young people that our city doesn't think that they can learn with their peers of the opposite sex."...


Consider this personal dilemma offered up by a Washington Post advice columnist....


High schools are not doing a great job preparing students (especially boys) for the world beyond. But hey, they're doing a great job with Friday night football....


Focus not on admissions but completions. That's the advice offered in this interesting session written about by the Chronicle....


I'm with Kay Hymowitz on this one. No sign of that happening yet....


That's the headline for this commentary. But actually, at many private colleges, it is....


Great article in the Times about a pediatrician-driven program to improve literacy skills. No gender breakdowns provided, but we already know the issue there....


The more girls in a class, the better the boys fare. Is this a rebuttal to single-sex classes? Probably not. Boys are having so many school-related problems any interruption of business as usual is bound to help....


Men rule the comic book world. What boy troubles?...


Here's an interesting study written about by Mary Ann Zehr at Ed Week: these boys do better than their sisters....


A new book is out on this subject, Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection by Niobe Way. Here's an article about the book. The book appears to support those who approach the boy troubles by focusing on the emotional challenges facing boys pressured to adapt to a macho culture....


RiShawn Biddle from Dropout Nation on the key topic....


Fascinating story from The Times....


Great New York Times/Chronicle collaboration about the default majors -- undergraduate business -- chosen by so many college students. The lack of rigor is appalling. The article doesn't give the gender breakdown of those majors, but I'm pretty sure we're talking mostly guys. A slice of the story: One senior accounting major at Radford, who asked not to be named so as not to damage his job prospects, says he goes to class only to take tests or give presentations. "A lot of classes I've been exposed to, you just go to class and they do the PowerPoint from ...


True, I dislike this topic, but given that I ran a piece by a skeptic it's only fair I post this from The Washington Post....


Boys are doing well in math and science, even better than girls who take the same courses and earn higher grades. But they aren't enrolling in college, and then persisting to earn degrees, at the same rate as women. From Education Week....


Interesting column out of Oakland. Would be nice to learn more about that school....


Famed technologist Vinton Cerf lays out the problems he sees in our K-12 schools. Simply put, the culture is askew. And it can't help that we doing such a poor job educating young men -- those most likely to pursue science as a career. An increasing number of women are stepping up here, but the forward progress is too slow....


I have a confession: I really dislike the debate over whether women are discriminated against in pay. It has nothing to do with the boy troubles, and yet it is always cited when the boy troubles are raised. Which is why I am forced to keep the blog's library stocked with debates on the issue. This from the WSJ, which -- naturally -- takes the counter view on discrimination....


That's a good cause to be taken up by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, especially considering that only two percent of the nation's teacher are black males. As a broader solution, however, that cause has limitations. I've seen where boosting black male education leadership can help with graduation rates and passing along life lessons, but it is less clear to me that the gender of the person standing at the front of the class makes that big a difference in academic outcome. If it did, then KIPP wouldn't be doing such a great job with black boys....


From the article: The Council of the Great City Schools released a national study in November on the achievement gap between black male students and their peers. The national study showed black males performed lower on almost every indicator. It said black males were nearly twice as likely to drop out of high school, scored lower on SAT college entrance tests, earned worse test scores in reading and were more likely to be suspended or held back a grade than their peers. It called the disparity a "national catastrophe."...


An interesting addition to the debate over how many young people need a college degree of some type. In short, like it not, college has become the new high school. Lumina is an advocate on this issue....


There's always a new and interesting way of describing the college gender gap, and Mark Perry found one....


More research showing the problems that arise if students aren't readers by third grade. (I'm still looking for gender breakouts on this report.)...


Research from Mathematica -- an organization known to turn out reliable numbers -- contradicts a Western Michigan University study released last month which found the charter schools were losing black males at a high rate. From the Education Week story: "Our data is showing that KIPP loses black males overall at a lower rate than the local district schools," said Christina Clark Tuttle, a senior researcher for Mathematica....


University of San Diego law professor Gail Heriot, as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, persuaded the commission to undertake an investigation of college admissions bias favoring men. And she fought to keep the investigation alive when investigators argued to abandon the probe, saying they were dealing with apples and oranges data. Heriot agreed to an online interview with me: 1. The admissions bias at private colleges seems obvious to me from the data. Plus, many admissions directors openly discuss it. Is there any question as to whether it actually happens? Several schools, including a few ...


This Sunday Times Magazine piece about South Bronx middle school principal Ramon Gonzalez is a must-read. What stands out to me are the KIPP-like teaching techniques....


College enrollment data for 2010 high school graduates: 74 percent of females, 62.8 percent of men....


Interesting analysis in the New York Times about the role played by the federal disability program. I think he's right....


Why is this so hard to comprehend? Education inequalities are not measured by how many boys vs. girls sign up for lacrosse. They are measured in outcomes, as in, who is ready for post-secondary education. Look at the numbers. Title IX results, measured by sports participation, are hopelessly irrelevant....


Commission member Gail Heriot from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights fell short in her bid today to revive the investigation into college admissions bias against women. The official reason: the data received from colleges was apples and oranges. I've asked to interview Heriot for the blog. I'll get back when I hear more....


RiShawn Biddle from Dropout Nation takes on Pedro Noguera's op-ed in the Daily News. I lean toward Biddle on this one....


The school board was skeptical, but parental interest triggered a green light....


Yes, the racial learning divides are the new civil rights issue ... but unless you acknowledge the gender gaps within racial/ethnic groups, you are never going to solve this issue. Presidential politics vs. educational reality: you choose, Mr. President....


Tomorrow, members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will consider a motion to revive the recently abandoned attempt to investigate college admissions bias against women (to draw in more men, even if they are less qualified). This issue contains some odd politics. On one hand, young men certainly need the boost and colleges have valid worries when a campus population rises above 60 percent female. On the other hand, these admissions preferences mask the very real problem of K-12 schools failing to prepare and motivate boys for college work. Want to see your government at work? Show up ...


Single gender programs discriminate, argues the ACLU. The court decision. (I won't have time to digest until later today.) But please ... weigh in!...


A new book by Kathleen Palmer Cleveland, Teaching Boys, advises teachers on how to turn around the under-achieving boys in their classrooms....


At Dropout Nation Biddle puts some creative thought into expressing the gender gap numbers....


Are online advocates preparing students for next generation jobs or only trying to save money on teachers' salaries? And does this approach help boys? I don't pretend to have any answers. I've heard from online advocates that they have reading programs that help boys succeed, but I have not had an opportunity to investigate....


Obama/Biden sounding the alarm. On many campuses (Yale being an exception), the problem arises from the very gender gaps described here. The research on the "operational sex ratio" is clear: the sex in short supply sets the "dating" rules. Do you really want 19-year-old guys setting those rules?...


New national study by Center for Education Policy finds eighth grade girls far ahead of boys in reading skills and tied in math skills. When looking at trend lines (2002-2009) among students scoring at the advanced level in reading, the report finds a growing gap in reading favoring girls in 63 percent of the states. What happens later in life as a result of these gender gaps? That's what CEP president Jack Jennings asks in this HuffPo essay. From that commentary: From elementary through high school, males are reading at lower levels than females. This doesn't bode well for future ...


No "social engineering" needed at this point, advises the university president. But it could happen. That's a great euphemism -- "social engineering." First time I've heard that. Makes it sound like DePauw might execute a really cool science experiment. In fact, that's just a code phrase for discriminating against women in the admissions process....


A conservative take on the gender gaps....


I'm looking for examples of boys who lost interest in schoolwork -- but then became re-engaged through some kind of intervention. I'm open to different ages, race/ethnicity/type of intervention. I would prefer a parent/boy combination willing to speak for the record. If you don't know of individuals, but rather someone likely to know those parents/boys, please pass along that contact. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. I can be reached at [email protected] Thanks!...


That's the argument from this author, who lobbies for more boy-friendly classrooms....


As always, we're really only talking about boys....


Michel Martin takes us from the NCAA championships to the marriageable mate issue, in only a few graphs....


Washington Post described urban charters moving into preschool and hoping to correct academic problems early. But there are downsides, especially among boys, who may not be ready for an academic agenda....


Interesting piece in the New York Times about organizing mostly female workers -- and how many of those workers have become the primary earners in their families....


With single-sex school news from South Carolina and beyond, awaits you....


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