Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind

Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind

Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind

Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind


"Parent of a son, school reform advocate, elementary school teacher, or, most importantly a school administrator or member of school boards you need to read this book." - Tucson Citzen.com" This is why we need reporters an unbiased look at what is and isn't working in schools. Plenty of real stories and real journalism." - guysread.com "Subject matter is compelling sound advice recommended for parents, educators, and others advocating for innovation and flexibility in their educational situations. - Library Journal "Excellent starting point for examining a problem that could have long lasting consequences if it's not addressed soon... insightful look into a serious deficit in our educational system." - Bismarck Tribune "It addresses an important, and neglected, problem in our schools. Teachers and administrators should pay close attention to what Whitmire has to say." - Washington Times "The gender gap will certainly be a difficult problem to overcome but hopefully this book will help pave the way for a better understanding." - Geekdad blog on wired.com "Brilliant new book! I don't know of a clearer or more balanced examination of this issue... recommendations at the end of the book are sensible, creative and overdue." - Washington Post"Provocative and useful new book." - Diverse Issues in Higher EducationThe signs and statistics are undeniable: boys are falling behind in school. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the biggest culprits are not video games, pop culture, or female-dominated schools biased toward girls. The real problem is that boys have been thrust into a bewildering new school environment that demands high-level reading and writing skills long before they are capable of handling them. Lacking the ability to compete, boys fall farther and farther behind. Eventually, the problem gets pushed into college, where close to 60% of the graduates are women. In a time when even cops, construction foremen, and machine operators need post-high school degrees, that's a problem. Why Boys Fail takes a hard look at how this ominous reality came to be, how it has worsened in recent years, and why attempts to resolve it often devolve into finger-pointing and polarizing politics.


Last summer I met a twenty-one-year-old high school senior who was struggling to push through his last few credits of high school. He was working with two tutors through a small pilot program targeting students at risk of dropping out. Facing an emotional disability and embarrassed in his summer school classes full of tenth graders, his frequent outbursts meant he was spending more time in the office and on suspension than he was in class.

I met him through a fortunate accident. On one of his trips back to class after a suspension, he happened to overhear the program manager, who was visiting the school that day, from my office, inquiring about a truant student she was trying to pair with a tutor but who was not showing up.

The listening student immediately interjected himself into the conversation and advocated forcefully on his own behalf, convincing the program manager that with a child on the way, and driven by a strong desire to move away from the violence he had seen and been a part of, he was willing to do whatever it would take to earn his diploma, if she would find someone to work with him. As all of our volunteer tutors were assigned already, part of “what it took” involved riding his bike to my office every day where my staff members had volunteered to work with him.

In Why Boys Fail, Robert Whitmire has hit not only on the root of this student's challenges and their impact on his life and choices, but on the ways that his challenges weave through the stories of millions of boys . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.