The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Single Sex Public Schools

I saw in this morning's "Good Morning America" that more and more public school districts throughout the country are exercising the option to open single-sex public schools. While the results are mixed, there is a belief that this usually helps girls, particularly in high school. The idea being they aren't distracted by boys, they don't try to "dumb themselves down" to make boys feel good, etc.

Before I post the ABC News article, I will say that I graduated from a Catholic all-girl school and wouldn't have traded it for the world - I firmly believe the experience made me a stronger woman and the camaraderie we shared was very special.

If I had a daughter I would prefer she go to an all-girl school.

What do you think?

Here's the article (bolding and italicizing mine):

Public Schools Attempt Same-Sex Education

NOW Says Dividing Boys and Girls Is a Bad Idea

Oct. 25, 2006 — - For the first time in a generation, public schools have won broad freedom to teach boys and girls separately, stirring a new debate about equality in the classroom. The Education Department announced rules that would make it easier to create single-sex classes or schools, a plan that's been expected for almost three years. The move comes as the value of same-sex education is in doubt.

Research shows mixed results, as even the department's own review says. Yet Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said more parents deserved to have the option. About 240 public schools offer same-sex education in the United States, up from just three in 1995, according to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education.

At one inner-city public high school in Chicago, girls raise their hands high in science lab and there are no boys. "You don't have to worry about dumbing yourself down as some people say," said sophomore Jasmine Perry. "Girls do so they won't intimidate guys especially in math and science."

It's a luxury that has been traditionally reserved for daughters of the upper class. "Wealthy children across this country have had these options forever. Poor children haven't," said Arne Duncan, CEO of Chicago Public Schools. "We're trying to dramatically change that." The Chicago Schools chief plans to open 20 more all-girls and -boys schools. It's an attempt to help fix the city's ailing public school system where graduation rates have hovered around 68 percent.

In the past, anti-discrimination laws have made it all but impossible for public school districts to offer single-sex classes. Now, federal regulations have eased and school districts around the country are looking at this model as a way to improve education.

Many organizations are against the idea. "Dividing men from women and boys from girls when they will spend their lives living and working together is a terrible idea for public education," said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women.

But educators at one Chicago girls school say that is not what they're seeing. Last year every single senior graduated.

Copyright © 2006 ABC
News Internet Ventures


Blogger Karoda said...

I personally think its a great idea if driven by great curriculums and not an attempt to substrat schools based on who attends them.

But even this will not be some panacea for what ails public schools...the shoe will fit some and that is a good thing...but it expands choices and that is what I like...

12:30 AM  

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