President Obama today will renew his call to boost college graduation rates, with a goal set for 60 percent by 2020, up from 40 percent today. Good goal, but there's only one way to get there, which is by boosting the high school graduation rates, college entry rates and college graduation rates for men. Women are doing well; it's men who are the problem. Probability of Obama pointing this out: near zero....


The schools superintendent in this New Jersey district has a good point: who wants to hire a D-average anybody? But let's be clear about who will get caught up in this net: boys....


My sense is that college is the new high school. You need at least some post-high school study to secure jobs that in years past needed only a high school degree. Bank teller comes to mind. But there's an active debate on this issue, and it's important to hear all sides....


Washington Post profiles a D.C. charter school experimenting with single-sex education and nicely wraps in the national debate. All the players are here. My takeaway: the lack of national research on what works, and doesn't work, with single-sex education is a scandal....


Advice from an Edutopia blogger on infusing the entire curriculum with literacy skills. Based on my school visits, that how schools keep boys on track....


I doubt anyone missed the challenge mounted by a group of civil rights leaders to President Obama's Race to the Top education program -- an effort to push beyond incremental (or no) progress in urban schools where boys fare the worst. Race to the Top, by contrast, rolls the dice: producing winners and losers, according to this logic, is likely to do more good than perpetuating the status quo. Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are right on this one. Now, Whitney Tilson's always-entertaining and informative blog brings us some updates: 1) In my last email, I wrote: The ...


That's what Nicholson Baker does in the latest New Yorker. Feel the pull that thousands of young boys feel. Beats the pull of the local classroom. You may, of course, have to track down an actual copy to read the full story....


Peter Schmidt from the Chronicle of Higher Education doesn't focus on the gender issue, but I know from my reporting that there are significant gender gaps among the sons and daughters of white working class families. Anyone wanting to stay current on the issue needs to follow his blog and read his book, Color and Money....


This is worth an extended look. The British gender gaps have been an issue for years. By contrast, the school gaps in the United States are only now getting some attention. That's why the British solutions are worth a look, especially the synthetic phonics approach. In this country the synthetic phonics was the core of the discredited Reading First program launched under President Bush. Reducing racial learning gaps -- not gender gaps -- was the goal of that program, but it was always assumed that synthetic phonics was a technique that would help boys. Reading First, however never turned the ...


What's happening with boys in the United States is similar to what's happening with boys in England, Canada and Australia. These test results from England mirror recent findings in this country: girls have caught up in math while boys fall behind in literacy skills. For the first time in six years, girls achieved the same results in maths as boys. However the gender gap appears to have widened in English, with girls outperforming boys, particularly at a higher level. In English, 33 percent of pupils overall reached Level 5 -- - the standard expected of 14-year-olds -- compared with 29 ...


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