Wednesday, September 24, 2008

some kids left behind

Boys used to read when I went to school. In fact, boys outscored girls in reading and writing on standardized tests, the SAT, and outpaced girls as far as college admission was concerned, too.

Now none of that is true.

I'm certainly not promoting the idea of a war between the sexes, but evidence would seem to suggest that there has been some damage done to boys through educational reforms, or, at the very least, that boys have been quietly neglected for the past 20 years as school systems have directed efforts at narrowing the achievement gap between the genders. As a result, in the past 20 years, girls have excelled in gains, while boys have fallen behind.

Think about that. Education administrators would never tolerate such a reality if it applied to a racial or economic subgroup, but I have yet to see any of the bloated, score-oriented, out-of-touch with reality, number-crunching managers even look twice at the stats that show how we're leaving boys behind in school. Believe me, I sat through an endless borefest of death-by-PowerPoint NCLB pie charts and graphs just yesterday and saw trends graphically displayed for just about every group you could think about.

Except "boys."

Hmmm... kind of makes you wonder.

So, what started happening in California about 20 years ago that alienated boys from reading and writing? It's pretty simple, actually. California "girled up" curriculum. We know that the change in methodology helped girls significantly, but it hurt the boys. It's kind of like using a flame thrower to remove a wart... the problem will be eradicated, but so will the rest of your hand.

In the next post, I'll talk about "girled up" curriculum, and how it drove boys away from reading and writing. Then, eventually, I'll give a few ideas about more effective ways to teach boys.

This is day 31 of Blogging Every Day For A Month. (BEDFAM)

I'm not finished yet, though. I'm going to go all the way through the end of September... then I have a BIG announcement coming up for October.



-- A. S.