The Editors at the FNP write write about the issues of single sex education vs. coed education. They make some very good points:
There is evidence to support the premise that mixing boys and girls in the same classroom, or even the same school, is not the best way to proceed for either sex, yet it is the basis of the vast majority of public education here and nationwide.Evidence does suggest that boys learn differently than girls and that perhaps some accomodations could be made to capitalize on those learning differences. To be sure, most classroom set ups in America are not done to benefit either sex in learning, but to benefit the adults in education and make their lives easier. I am not suggesting we do away with adult authority, but we need to look more closely and why boys thrive in one kind of atmosphere than in another and the same for girls.
Same-sex education -- all-boy or all-girl classes and schools -- is already a subject of interest here in Frederick County. Several years ago, some experimental all-boy elementary classes were proposed to test the premise that boys could do better in school if their learning environment was "boyed up" to better conform to how they learn.
This idea was proposed because there is a lot of evidence that boys don't perform as well as girls in typical learning environments, and that early failures continue to plague boys as they progress through elementary, middle and high school.
One particularly telling statistic involves the numbers of women and men in U.S. colleges and universities, where women both outnumber and outperform their male counterparts, and the gap appears to be widening.
The theory being put to the test in experimental all-boy classes involves how boys best learn. It appears that physical freedom, less structure and more flexible teaching methods are conducive to boys learning -- and that those elements are not present -- or at least prevalent -- in most traditional schools and classrooms.
While I am convinced that boys, as a group, learn differently than girls (of course there are exceptions), I am not convinced that girls "self-esteem and assertiveness" are damaged in coed science or math classes. It may be that the classes, as they are currently taught, match the learning styles of girls--a theory I am much more open to testing than "self-esteem" learning issues.
To this point, I am okay with the FNP's editorial, until I get to this paragraph:
Again, there is some evidence for this theory. Statistics show that boys go down the science/math/technology/computer road in much greater numbers than girls, who more often choose other careers such as teaching. Some suggest this is at least in part an explanation for the stubborn salary disparity that continues to exist between men and women.Earlier this month, I posted this on the pay gap between men and women and how the choices of each sex in college and what they study leads to the disparities in pay more than anything else.
For once, the blame for the pay disparity among men and women is being properly attributed to personal decisions and not some insidious "discrimination" cause that no one can really prove on a widespread basis.Please note that pay discrimination is illegal in this country and while there is nothing wrong with teaching as a profession, as a rule teachers are paid less than electrical engineers. Each person makes a choice and those choices carry consequences.
Look if Ms. Philips wants to build a charter school, good luck to her. But I think her chances of approval will be vastly increased if she said she was going to have some classes as single sex classes and allow both boys and girls to attend. I might even be willing to help in whatever way I can.