Single Sex Public Education
by KYW’s Dr. Marciene Mattleman
The 1990s American Association of University Women’s report, “Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America,” describing how girls are subtly discouraged from careers in math and science and how their self esteem drops in puberty, accelerated thinking about different ways the sexes learn. Now, with more girls graduating from college, the emphasis is on boys.
While private and parochial schools have long separated the sexes, public school regulations were changed to allow single sex public schools in October 2006, when a civil rights complaint was filed with the US Department of Education.
Although separate classes for girls and boys for phys ed and health are common in public schools, since 2006 the number of single-sex schools has grown.
It’s been demonstrated that single-sex classrooms can break down stereotypes such as technology is for boys and art is for girls. Where sexes are separated, kids have followed their inclinations.
Gender-separate formats have boosted achievement for both sexes; however, putting students in separate classrooms requires planning and training for teachers. Learn more at NASSPE.org, the National Association of Single Sex Public Education.