Boys’ Class, Girls’ Class
Thanks to The Grade for pointing out this Today show feature about single-sex public education. The first few minutes show scenes from the Carmen Trails Elementary School boys’ and girls’ classes. As often happens when the media reports on Carmen Trails, the boys are studying while the girls are doing something considerably less rigorous (in this case, hearing a story about “movie stars”), but maybe things even out when the cameras stop rolling.
In the discussion afterward, I appreciated Dr. Leonard Sax’s comments that parents who can afford private schools have the option of single-sex education, but others don’t have a choice. And I thought Latifa Lyles made no sense when she said single-sex programs have been successful for reasons other than sex separation, so we shouldn’t start any more such programs. Huh? If single-sex classrooms don’t make a difference by themselves, but somehow manage to bring other factors on board and improve education, what’s wrong with that?
Karl Frank has an interesting suggestion on The Grade: he thinks young students should be separated by birth date, rather than by sex. That would make the existing yearly cutoff less of a big deal, if there were two or three cutoffs for different classes.
This can’t go on forever — we can’t guarantee every child a spot in a class of students who are exactly like him or her — but giving parents more choices about class composition is a good thing.