More Public Schools Test Single-Sex Classrooms

Curriculum Review, January 2011 | Go to article overview

More Public Schools Test Single-Sex Classrooms


The trend of separating boys and girls is making a comeback. Increasingly, schools arc trying single-sex instruction in traditional co-ed environments. This can be done in a number of ways, like keeping boys and girls apart except for social occasions such as lunch or assemblies, or by separating them based on specific courses.

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This may be in part due to falling test scores, particularly among boys. According to a March report released by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), girls outperformed boys in each of the 40 states that provided testing data. "In some states, the percentage of boys performing at proficient in reading is more than 10 percentage points below that of girls," says the CEP. "And that trend is consistent at the elementary, middle and high school levels."' Fortunately, the test scores in math were more equal.

But that doesn't change the fact that there is a glaring difference in the reading levels of boys vs. girls, and single-sex English classes may be a way to bridge the gap. "Our analysis suggests that the gap between boys and girls in reading is a cause for concern," said CEP's president and CEO Jack Jennings. …

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More Public Schools Test Single-Sex Classrooms
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