Single-Sex Public Education
Schoolhouse Talk links to a New York Times article on single-sex public schools and notes that the Columbia Public Schools have been considering the idea for a year now.
It’s important to keep in mind that many of the successful schools mentioned in the New York Times piece are charter schools. So, in addition to maintaining a single-sex environment, they have more flexibility when they hire teachers and choose curricula. It’s hard to tell whether their good academic results are caused by the single-sex environment or by one of those other factors. But determining whether the average boy or girl learns best in a single-sex environment is less important than choosing the best schools for individual kids. Even if most girls prefer girls-only classes, for example, some individual girls might do better in a coed school.
No matter what the research shows about general patterns of achievement, parents should be able to choose the best educational environments for their kids whether that means choosing between single-sex and coed classrooms in a traditional public school, or choosing a single-sex charter school.