Education

Article excerpt

THE OLD BECOMES NEW

There are no magic bullets in education. It takes involved parents, dynamic teachers and students committed to learning. Most of all, it takes hard work.

Anything that distracts from learning needs to be eliminated. Distractions abound in middle school. Students no longer feel like children and are asked to take more responsibility. More teachers. Larger schools. More confusion. Adolescence is coming. Suddenly, the opposite sex is in play. School can become a time to socialize.

Private and parochial schools have dealt with those distractions by separating classes by the sexes.

For instance, the private Boylan Haven School for Girls, which operated from the 1880s to the 1950s, helped develop leaders among Jacksonville's African- American community.

Ribault Middle School this year began separating girls and boys for classes in the core subjects: math, science, social studies and language arts, said Principal George Maxey. Separating the students puts the focus on education, he said.

Ribault, classified as a failing school based on scores of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, often deals with students who are struggling when they arrive there. …