I was concerned that in the sea of humanity this evening, I wouldn’t be able to locate “my” graduate. My friend was one of dozens of young adults with freshly minted diplomas from our local public high school. Luckily, the color-coding made it easier to locate my friend. There were yellow sashes for International Baccalaureate program graduates, blue and gold cords for members of the National Honor Society, and green cords for those graduating with academic honors. My friend was a member of the small minority of graduates with all three awards.The problem extends also to colleges:
But my friend was a member of a still smaller color-coded minority. Instead of wearing the white graduation gowns the women graduates wore, he wore green, making him only one of only two male graduates with awards in all three areas.
Men, while not quite islands of green in a sea of white gowns, made up only 108 of the class of approximately 240 graduates. That’s 45%, which isn’t too far from half. But when it came to academic honors, green gowns were much less common. Distiguished Scholars: 10 of 41, National Honor Society: 6 of 27, International Baccalaureate Program: 8 of 24–roughly three times more women than men were rigorously prepared to succeed in college.
A 2005 NPR interview quotes a Pell Institute scholar who found that by the late 1970s women had caught up to men in high school graduation rates, and by the early 80s they had caught up in college graduation rates. That’s the good news. The bad news is that since then, men have lost even more than women gained. Two years ago American colleges awarded 200,000 more degrees to women than to men.The fact is that an increasingly large number of men don't complete college and too many don't complete high school. In a time when women are getting a better education, and the public knows that males are getting left behind, there still are not enough programs targeted at males to help the in high school to prepare for college and help them complete college.
What a change from not too long ago. The mother of a very good friend of mine once told me of her high school days, when at the beginning of senior year she was told that she couldn’t enroll in calculus. Even though she was academically well qualified, it was only for aspiring engineers, and since she was a girl, and girls . . . well, couldn’t be engineers . . . That was less than fifty years ago.
I remember as a teenager, there was a push for single sex classrooms because the theory went that girls were overshadowed by boys in the classroom. That now appears to be the reverse and yet, we don't hear a similar cry to help the boys.
Krumm notes that the problem could have far more reaching consequences, namely for educated women to meet and marry educated men:
Much like our misguided welfare systems still focuses on the prevention of starvation when it is obesity that is the greater nutritional problem associated with poverty, our gender-based education programs now target the wrong sex for academic improvement. That puts boys at an even greater disadvantage since, unlike as for girls, there aren’t well-organized and powerful “male special interest groups” that will fight to give boys the boost they need.Hat tip: The Instapundit
But there probably should be, and it is women who should be among boys’ biggest supporters. That is, they should be if the they hope to meet a high school and college graduate waiting for them at the end of the aisle the next time they wear a white gown.