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Monday, January 30, 2006

Katherine Kersten's Korner

It's Monday once again, and that means another Katherine Kersten's Korner. Today's kolumn is about single-sex classes in public schools.

Wingnuttia level: 2 (Beware of hidden agendas)

It's not much of a secret that boys are lagging behind in school. They don't read as well, they don't go on to college like girls do, and they are more likely to get into trouble. I think Kersten gets a backhanded slap at feminists who spent all their time worrying about girls and not paying attention to boys; a lot of conservatives, mainly conservative women, seem to have this refrain. Nevertheless, the gender gap is real, and it needs to be addressed.

Single-sex classes have shown benefits for both boys and girls, so I really don't see any reason why they are a bad idea. If it works, it works.

That doesn't mean that the pendulum should swing back in the other direction so that girls are once again ignored. Girls have their own set of special circumstances that no boys ever have to deal with, and schools need to continue to keep that in mind. There's no reason to shortchange any student.


At 11:40 PM, January 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given that single-sex classrooms are far fewer in number and are given more attention and resources to boot, I'd take any assessment of their efficacy regarding improving reading skills for both boys and girls with a few grains of salt. What matters far more than single-sex classrooms is how early and well kids are taught to read in the first place. I don't doubt that in schools where a sexist pathology is already present that segregation by sex in the classroom may be beneficial, but it is not a panacea by any means.


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