May 2011 Archives

Good background on the group challenging schools to do more for boys....


Boys need to get a faster start learning, and yet boys are less likely to mature fast enough to adjust to preschool classrooms. Here's the dilemma playing out in Connecticut....


That seems to be the message in this Washington Post story. From the article: The Maryland School Assessment in reading and math for 2010 showed a 10 percentage-point increase in school pass rates. Mathews said it was hard to tell how much the running factored into the academic strides. But she noted that administrators had more time for professional development because there were fewer discipline problems and more focused students. "It really changed the culture of the school," she said. Now, when Diana Rabideau's first-graders return from lunch, they ask teachers to keep track of how much they ran. She ...


That's the bottom line of this story from New Zealand....


Not a positive picture ... but the local paper does a good job laying out the facts....


Made by the head of a Toronto girls school....


Those are the odds that a young black man will find a job....


As this Education Week discloses, six out of ten Texas seniors have been suspended (or worse). Doesn't disclose the gender ratio, but we already know that most of those are boys. During my book research I heard principals tell me that many of those boys act out deliberately -- better to be the expelled rebel than the "dummy" who can't follow the coursework because you lack the literacy skills....


Aborting female fetuses triggers a population gender gap, which leads to a marriageable mate gap, which in turn leads to a restive male population that presents a possible state security problems (as the Chinese have discovered)....


That's good news, but anecdotal reporting of test scores isn't the same as real research....


Women and minorities tend to shun the majors that lead to the best paying jobs, which lies at the heart of the overall gender pay gap (not the true apples to apples issue, where male/female engineers hold the exact same position but are paid differently.) What's important to keep in mind, however, is that the real issue is not about scoring points in a debate. The real issue is about encouraging more women to pursue majors that are of national economic importance....


Another newsy bulletin from David Chadwell in South Carolina, home to the nation's most ambitious single-gender classroom experiment....


This trend was reported in my book. I'm skeptical about the reasons for the shift cited here. A lot of this is nothing more complicated than women dominating higher education and psychology being a favored major among women. The article is another missed opportunity to discuss campus gender gaps (and the need to encourage women to take on majors in the hard sciences or anything leading to business entrepreneurship)....


See the entire conference here. Plus, Edweek published a more thorough story on the session....


...Even as the marriage rate declines. Why? Because the better educated are marrying the better educated. Now, factor in the phenomenon of 57 percent of four-year degrees going to women, 62 percent of two-year degrees, and see where that logic takes you.......


From The Washington Times. From Deseret News. And the best coverage from RiShawn Biddle at Dropout Nation. Video of the entire conference is scheduled to posted on The Boys Initiative site by the end of the week....


From Prince George's County outside Washington....


Today's session written up by Education Week. Information about the briefing, and Tom Mortenson's report, on The Boys Initiative site....


First Book, profiled in the New York Times. From the article: When we imagine people without books, we think of villagers in places like Afghanistan. But many families in the United States have no children's books at home. In some of the poorest areas of the country, it's hard to find books for sale. A study (pdf) of low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia, for example, found a ratio of one book for sale for every 300 children. Tens of millions of poor Americans can't afford to buy books at all....


British boys lack the "stamina" to read beyond the 100th page, according to this research. Based on my interviewing in this country, that's impressive. Many boys here would never think of engaging a book that far....


From the article: "History would tell you that boys are just not good at reading and writing," said Gilbert. "It's not that they, the boys develop later. It's that they develop differently. A six-year-old girl's brain is more similar to a nine-year-old girl's brain, than a six-year-old girl's brain is to a six-year-old boy's brain." In fact, a 2010 study released by the Center on Education Policy showed that among fourth grade students, girls outperformed the reading achievement of boys in all 50 states....


Men in charge of programming yearn for the good old days when women didn't dominate, writes Maureen Down in her Sunday New York Times column. Making them into 'loose' stewardesses reminds men is simpler times. Writes Dodd: A top female entertainment executive says "it's not a coincidence that these retro shows are appearing at the same time men are confused about who to be. A lot of women are making more money and getting more college degrees. The traditional roles of dominant and submissive roles are reversed in many cases. Everything was clearer in the '60s."...


In the New York Times Sunday Magazine Larry Summers is asked about the economic scenario that keeps him up. His answer: the 20 percent of working age men, 25-54, who aren't working. Even with an economic recovery that's likely to improve only to one in six, he said. Why is that a problem? Larry's answer: There's consequences for poverty. It has consequences for the government's disability budget, crime, the ways in which children are raised....


That's the position taken by Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce subcommittee, which oversees K-12 federal programs. The Equity program would be one of 43 programs trimmed by Hunter to "reduce the fat" in the federal education budget. The subcommittee's rationale is interesting: ● Women's Educational Equity: The Women's Educational Equity program promotes education equity for women and girls. The program received $1.8 million in FY 2008 and $2.4 million in both FY 2009 and 2010. Funding for the program was eliminated in the final FY 2011 budget agreement and the president's FY 2012 ...


New York Times prints some interesting letters in response to the David Brooks column about the 20 percent of working-age men who have disappeared from the economic radar screen....


That's the operating philosophy at this single-sex school in South Carolina. Funny, I once visited Princeton's vaunted Institute for Advanced Study and failed to notice the male scholars bouncing off the walls. Maybe I came at the wrong time of day....


Way is author of Deep Secrets, another book that takes a look at the "boy code" said to limit boys' emotional ranges. Sign up here. You could win a free book! From the press release: Drawing from hundreds of interviews conducted throughout adolescence with black, Latino, white, and Asian American boys, Deep Secrets reveals the ways in which we have been telling ourselves a false story about boys, friendships, and human nature. Boys' descriptions of their male friendships sound more like "something out of Love Story than Lord of the Flies." Yet in late adolescence, boys feel they have to "man...


Interesting pieces, especially the connection to the declining education attainment of American males. From the article: A second explanation is that American men have let their schooling slide. Those aged between 25 and 34 are less likely to have a degree than 45- to 54-year-olds. As David Autor of MIT points out, they are also less likely to have completed college than their contemporaries in Britain, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain. In recent years America's university graduation rates have slipped from near the top of the world league to the middle. Men are far likelier than women to ...


Sponsored by Educational Testing Service, June 14, in Washington. From the press release: The symposium will concentrate on the following: * focus attention on the challenges, needs and opportunities facing young Black boys within the larger picture of black male achievement * illuminate the connections between early cognitive and social/emotional development and later readiness for success in school * examine the role of a high-quality, seamless PreK-3rd grade continuum of education in supporting black male achievement * identify promising, realistic policies and strategies to affect the path of the 3.5 million Black males under the age of 9...


Tom Mortenson updates his data on the state of boys and men in America in this press briefing by The Boys Initiative....


The Hechinger Report offers links to recent reporting, most of it weighing against the need for college. I see nothing that changes my position that college is the new high school. Students need some kind of post-secondary education to compete. A better way to frame the debate would be: Who actually needs a four-year degree?...


Great idea out of New Jersey. And learning to deal with the fart jokes is just part of life....


New chancellor Dennis Walcott discusses school choice in general, and that includes more single-sex options for parents....


And in this study, boys were five times more likely to suffer from autism....


Women are lagging men in the jobs recovery, according to the Wall Street Journal....


This is helpful...this is what we need across the country. Again, if most of our college graduates are going to be women, we have a national academic interest in steering more women into the hard sciences (and aggressive business startups)....


Entire senior class at this all-boys inner city school accepted into colleges, including some of the nation's most selective. Unfortunately, the writer does not get into the issue of how many boys dropped out before the senior year -- or the selection progress determining who attends. The success records of charter school are under fierce attack from the unions, which mandates that these questions get asked. (thanks to David Chadwell for spotting this article)...


I recently met Howard Hiton, one of the founders of the Portland (Ore.) based organization. Their book, BAM! and their website offer guidance to both teachers and parents. From the guidebook: We think of this curriculum as a kind of adventurer's guide into the mostly uncharted territory of facilitating supportive, strengths-based groups for boys in schools and community settings. We offer ideas for routes and pathways to interesting adventures and reasons why such adventures are important. Our hope is that this guidebook will serve as a kind of map for you to use as you navigate the challenging and rewarding ...


Made at Arizona State University. Does not address boys' flagging academic achievement, which I see as the primary driver behind the movement....


And another side to the gender wage gap issue, from WeNews....


The experience at black colleges....


Commentary in the Chronicle reminds us that the reasons for encouraging more Americans to undertake college work go far beyond workforce needs....


The Australians are way ahead of the U.S. in confronting the school gender gaps, but no closer to solving the dilemma....


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