A lot of the critical focus on successful urban charter schools has focused on turnover: as some students drop out are they replaced by better students, thereby inflating the graduation/college-acceptance rates? That comes up with KIPP schools a lot, but also with schools such as Chicago's Urban Prep. I'm sure there's some truth to that, but anyone who has spent time in these schools knows that's a minor issue. These schools are fulfilling America's promise to give each child, including urban boys, an adequate education. Maybe the numbers are small, but they are important first steps. Ideally, traditional public ...


Why is this taking so long at the federal Department of Education? NYC is rolling out school interventions aimed at minority boys, an acknowledgment of the obvious: the problem of poor academic achievement doesn't always sort out by race/income, which is the only way states and the feds have tried to measure the issue. It unfolds by gender, as well, which explains why twice as many black women as men earn bachelors degrees. This is really not that hard to understand ... but apparently the issue crosses too many PC boundaries for the feds to act....


Education Secretary Arne Duncan, along with his entire department, continues to ignore the school gender gaps. As far as I know, there's no research in the pipeline regarding either the gap or "solutions" such as single-sex classrooms. Now, however, Duncan has picked a "solution" without even mentioning the problem: putting more black men into classrooms. That's a good idea. It certainly can't hurt. South Carolina's Call Me Mister program is worth a look. I spoke before them recently and challenged the aspiring teachers by saying that placing a black male face in the classroom is insufficient. All teachers, whether black ...


As the Washington Post points out, there's been a sharp rise in the percent of women over 40 who don't have children. The result of better job opportunities for women? That's the theory raised in the article. What never gets raised in the marriageable mate issue. How many of these women never found a comparably educated male suitable for marriage? The marriageable mate issue is so new, and so sensitive, that reporters rarely raise it. The New York Times published a Sunday magazine cover story on the rise of educated white women using sperm banks ... and never once raised the ...


Caryl Rivers offers her skepticism about The Atlantic's piece, The End of Men. Yes, men still hold most of the power levers in business and politics, and probably will into the near future. But how relevant is that argument if the country fails to field its best team, including a lot of men who need a college degree just to get to the starting line? And how relevant is that if women start shunning marriage because they can't find comparably educated mate? These college imbalances are not the minor issue she makes them out to be....


Overall student gains in New York's large-scale experiment to transform failing urban schools hold up for minority boys as well, according to this MDRC report. New York holds a leading edge in the experiment to build "portfolio" public schools of choice. Washington DC, under Michelle Rhee's leadership, is headed in the same direction....


Newsweek takes a broad look at the issue and notes recent research. To me, the most significant take-away lesson from the surge in single-sex classrooms and schools is that school districts are finally realizing boys are in trouble. But does that mean single-sex classrooms are the answer? Not until we get better research on how to conduct them effectively....


RiShawn Biddle in the American Spectator on the reading crisis among urban boys....


If University of New Hampshire professor Thomas Newkirk, author of Misreading Masculinity," is leading the movement, I'm on the bandwagon. From the AP story: At a time when people spend much of their time skimming websites, text messages and e-mails, an English professor at the University of New Hampshire is making the case for slowing down as a way to gain more meaning and pleasure out of the written word. Thomas Newkirk isn't the first or most prominent proponent of the so-called "slow reading" movement, but he argues it's becoming all the more important in a culture and educational system ...


Sara Mead pulls together a complete package. The Hirsch/Pondiscio piece already commented on isn't the only insightful piece in the magazine....


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