View Poll Results: Is there a bias against boys in the American educational system?

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  • yes

    12 33.33%
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  • other - please explain

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Thread: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

  1. #101
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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyMoonlight View Post
    I like the sound of this system.
    As a product of system #1 and #2 (which already exists for special education students, by the way), I'm immensely skeptical and worried about what this could do. These tend to group students rather arbitrarily, far too early, and without much emphasis on testing the waters for greater challenges. Without delving too far into my own research, this has been an issue for many decades, into much of the previous century. It had shifted shape and the way it looks over the decades, but it's still very much a problem.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 03-02-14 at 04:56 AM.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

  2. #102
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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by DashingAmerican View Post
    Hire a teacher for each method.

    Since students learn differently, the class sizes would be smaller, thus reducing the burden and increasing the one on one teacher-student time.
    So you want more teachers? How many more?
    That also means more classrooms right?
    Which means a new, bigger school right? Or at least an addition built onto existing school.

    Who pays for all that? How much tax hike are people going to be willing to pay?

    While we'd all like to say "money shouldn't matter - it's the kids and the outcome of that money that matters" we all know that's not the case.

  3. #103
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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    As a product of system #1 and #2 (which already exists for special education students, by the way), I'm immensely skeptical and worried about what this could do. These tend to group students rather arbitrarily, far too early, and without much emphasis on testing the waters for greater challenges. Without delving too far into my own research, this has been an issue for many decades, into much of the previous century. It had shifted shape and the way it looks over the decades, but it's still very much a problem.
    Segregating kids based on an ability can, could, and certainly does lead to bullying doesn't it?

  4. #104
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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    But don't the majority of boys somehow rise up to meet the challenge?

    So is it really an issue - or just a fact of life?

    Is it also an issue in European and Asian education systems?

    Do boys in Japan struggle more than girls in Japan simply because they're boys and wired a little differently?

    And the ones who don't cut it - well - the world needs ditch diggers and garbage men along with engineers and scientists, right?
    Here's a little more information for you. Don't you think if it was just a case "bad parenting" or something, girls would be getting in trouble and having problems just as often?

    NEA - Educating Boys for Success

    This woman has some wonderful ideas for starters.

    As I continue to grow and develop, I’ve learned to embrace the following concepts:

    Let boys be active. I often do small group instruction on a large floor rug. When boys lounged or fidgeted, I used to tell them to “Sit up! Pay attention and make sure your eyes are on me.” I’ve loosened my expectations on requiring students to be stationery. The bottom line is that they get their work done.

    Give boys books that appeal to their interests. I used to pride myself on the range of books in my classroom library that represented a variety of genres, ethnicities, and cultures. Then I realized I needed books that would grab boys’ attention. I’ve expanded my collection to include more animal and “How To” books, as well as titles like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Adventures of Captain Underpants. This is not to say that girls aren’t interested in these books as well, just that I’m more conscious of titles when I select books.

    Create hands-on learning activities. When I assign special projects, I provide my students with more “boy-friendly” options, such as a “biography box” in lieu of a book report. Students bring in a box with 10 objects connected to the person they’ve been researching, then write a list of the objects and a brief explanation of how the object is connected to the person. My boys prefer this option as opposed to just writing a paragraph. Collecting the objects (or even making them) permits them to be more active.

    Stop eliminating recess as a punishment. When boys don’t have a chance to work off their energy, they can end up acting worse. A Harvard study stated that by school age, the average boy in a classroom is more active than the girls. Furthermore, most active girls don’t seem to express their energy in the unrestrained way characteristic of most boys. Instead of taking away their entire recess, I choose an alternative consequence that doesn’t end up punishing me and the student—such as running two laps around the blacktop or picking up 10 pieces of trash before going to play.

    Reduce out-of-school suspensions. According to the Schott Report, Black boys in elementary and secondary schools are punished far more harshly for the same infractions as their peers. Also troubling, Black and Hispanic youth are disproportionately suspended from school, increasing their chances of falling behind in class and disengaging from school altogether. When appropriate, let’s replace out-of-school suspensions with disciplinary strategies less disruptive to learning.

    America’s schools would benefit from rethinking the ways we educate all boys—and in particular, ethnic-minority males, who are disciplined, suspended, and drop out at far greater rates than their peers. Equipping educators with training and resources on male behavior and learning patterns would give us a powerful tool in closing the achievement gaps that exist in our priority schools.

    Dionna Ricks teaches at Jackson Road Elementary School in Maryland.
    Some stats taken from above link:

    *Boys account for 71 percent of all school suspensions. Fifty-nine percent of Black boys and 42 percent of Hispanic boys report being suspended. (U.S. Dept of Ed and Schott Foundation Report)
    *Boys comprise 67 percent of all special education students. Almost 80 percent of these are Black and Hispanic males. (USDOE and Schott Foundation Report)
    *Boys are five times more likely than girls to be classified as hyperactive and are 30 percent more likely to flunk or drop out of school. (National Center for Education Statistics)
    *Girls outperform boys in grades and homework at all levels. (NCES)

  5. #105
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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    So you want more teachers? How many more?
    That also means more classrooms right?
    Which means a new, bigger school right? Or at least an addition built onto existing school.

    Who pays for all that? How much tax hike are people going to be willing to pay?

    While we'd all like to say "money shouldn't matter - it's the kids and the outcome of that money that matters" we all know that's not the case.
    Well, that goes back to my earlier point. Everyone wants a better school system, but nobody wants to pay for it.
    If you strike me down, I'll become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Segregating kids based on an ability can, could, and certainly does lead to bullying doesn't it?
    Bullying or stigma is a part of it, but we should consider the whole picture. It impacts the education one receives (perhaps quality as well), the expectations for that student's life and so forth. It constructively designates who is going to do what in life-at a very young age, and may not allow for much movement through the tiers. You also have to consider whether or not you're getting it right with knowing someone's ability, and there have been many people like me, where they had gotten it wrong multiple times or had limited imagination.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Exactly! With the exception of reading and math, much of what we learn in school is likely to be obsolete soon. Learning of facts is already obsolete, what with a world of facts readily available on the internet. The ability to evaluate the information we get is far more valuable, as is the simple joy of learning and exploring. Education does not start in Kindergarten and end at graduation, but is a lifelong project.
    The ability to evaluate the information we get is extremely valuable, which is why I am a strong advocate for teaching media literacy and reasoning in schools from the earliest grades through graduation.

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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by DashingAmerican View Post
    Well, that goes back to my earlier point. Everyone wants a better school system, but nobody wants to pay for it.
    The point that needs to be made over and over again is that a sound investment in education now will reduce future costs for remedial education, social and mental health services, crime, law enforcement, and incarceration.

  9. #109
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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    A big problem here is that education theory has moved away from competition and towards cooperation. Boys, and men, are intensely competitive. Boys will have contests to see who can burp the loudest, who is the funniest, who can climb highest up a tree. Each competitive contest allows a boy to be a master of his own domain. Things are a bit different with girls - their social hierarchy is more centralized in comparison to the decentralized model boys follow. Girls work much better cooperatively.

    With cooperation replacing competition in schools because competition was thought to hinder the progress of girls (it didn't) we've removed a strong motivating force from boys in schooling. Group projects, peer learning and other tactics likely inhibit boys from full participation.

    There are a host of things going on but what we do know is that boys who score higher on objective tests of content mastery can actually earn lower letter grades from the teachers than girls who they outscored. The girls are being rewarded for something apart from content mastery. When students get marks for completing their homework even if answers are wrong, then girls benefit because they are more compliant to authority - they'll do the work. Boys, researchers have found, tend to do homework when required but really lose interest in it after they come to understand the lesson, so half-completed homework from boys is far more common than from girls. Same too with rewards for showing of work - boys are more binary - is the answer right or wrong. Showing the work in order to get a reward favors how girls behave and so they get rewarded for this more frequently than boys.

    To boil it down - girls follow instructions more than do boys, hence higher grades, but lower performance on objective tests of content.
    Whew, talk about over complicating an issue. Boys tend not to do the homework as much as girls and that translates into lower grades, plain and simple. You don't do the homework, you don't understand the material as well. Common sense. Its not "cool" for guys to do homework. Its a social stigma that has gone on for decades.

  10. #110
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    Re: Are Public Schools In The US Biased Against Males?

    Quote Originally Posted by rabbitcaebannog View Post
    ..and those scripted programs schools spend tons of money on certainly don't allow for that kind of individualized learning or creativity. A multimillion dollar industry selling teachers how to teach to a script.
    Keep in mind the reason that scripted curricula has taken off. It's the same reason which gave birth to NCLB. Educations majors are the bottom of the barrel in terms of intellectual firepower and when teachers DID HAVE THE FREEDOM to individualize instruction, they screwed up the system by falling for fad after fad after fad, learning circles, no red pen marking, self-esteem boosting methods, the list goes on.

    You paint a beautiful theory about how wonderful things could be but the history of how such freedom in the classroom was exercised just guts your theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyMoonlight View Post
    I wish people would stop blaming the teachers for failures. It is certainly not the teachers I work with and know in the school....it is the system, the Department of Education and psychologists who have destroyed a couple of generations of students by their insistence that: all students are equal (academically they are not), Little Johnny might have his psyche damaged if he doesn't get promoted with his peer/friendship group, it's always the teacher's fault.
    An excellent point. Teachers are only part of the problem, and a small part at that. The people who design the methods, policies, and choose content seem to escape the blame and it's the teachers who are required to jump through the various hoops who get the blame for bad outcomes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter King View Post
    The US school system does not help IMHO, children of all academic levels are thrown into one kind of school (junior high school) followed by regular high school. That means that children who are really academically gifted are in one and the same class as children who will never even be able to finish high school or who are just succeeding because they are good at sports.

    In the Netherlands there is a whole host of different kinds of schools after elementary school. This is done because not all children are equally academically gifted as others.
    I think you understand some of the issues in play but you entirely miss the big picture here, which is, what is the purpose of a public school system. In the Netherlands I'm guessing that the purpose is to take each student which enters the system and help them to achieve to the best of their ability. That's not the case in the US, although it used to be, but now the purpose of our public school system is to close the achievement gap. Schools would be shut down if they actually improved academic performance for most students but in so doing actually increased the black-white achievement gap for these schools would be deemed a failure.

    If you understand the purpose of public schooling in the US then many of the policies which look asinine begin to make sense.

    1. Practical education. This is largely for children with learning difficulties. That can be because one has low level of IQ (between 60 and no more than 75-80) or youths who are seriously lagging behind in learning.
    The mean IQ of African Americans is 85. This means that such classes are going to have massive racial imbalances. This would never fly in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by drz-400 View Post
    Whew, talk about over complicating an issue. Boys tend not to do the homework as much as girls and that translates into lower grades, plain and simple. You don't do the homework, you don't understand the material as well. Common sense. Its not "cool" for guys to do homework. Its a social stigma that has gone on for decades.
    Yeah, I'm guessing that you missed the part about boys doing less homework, earning lower grades but scoring higher on objective tests of content mastery, thus directly invalidating your claim that they don't understand the material.

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