I sure didn't say it. This FOX NEWS article did. What do you think of the premise that schools are not teaching boys well and are more geared toward female learning styles? The gap widens as the children age:
"Many boys are disengaging from school," Kleinfeld says. "The U.S. Department of Education’s surveys of student commitment show that boys are far less likely than girls to do homework or to come to school with the supplies they need."
Um, OK. So... the kids are in school for eight hours daily already. Cut out the homework. They forget their stuff and are disorganized? Help them out and keep the supplies at school. I'm not advocating a lack of responsibility for boys. I'm just saying that if HALF your student body has a problem with something, it's time to change it and do a little accomodating, don't you think? And really, most BUSINESSES have things like pens and paper at the desks. Do we need to get all anal about which kid brings a pen to which class? If we have significant achievement gaps, I'm thinking we have other things to worry about, you know, besides a stupid pen.
*IF* it's true that boys lag a little developmentally (which I doubt; I think they simply develop differently), then perhaps gearing classes more toward what they need would be helpful. It's great that girls do well in school as a whole. But we can do so much better with our young men. Why are they feeling disenfranchised in public schools? Quote:
In separate research that Kleinfeld is also preparing for publication, she has possibly gotten to the root of the problem. "Here's a fascinating fact," she said. "There is no literacy gap in home-schooled boys and girls."
"Why? In school, teachers emphasize reading literature and talking about character and feelings," she said. "This way of teaching reading does not turn boys on. Boys prefer reading nonfiction, such as history and adventure books. When they are taught at home, parents are more likely to let them follow their interests."
My thoughts: then it's time to figure out what the boys are interested in. Right now we're reading Doctor Dolittle. This is great stuff. Even my son who just turned seven can read this and understand it with minimal help. They're going on voyages and discovering new places. Or even "girl" books like Pippi Longstocking have an adventurous twist. No reason girls have to feel excluded from literature. Certainly there are enough great classics out there to enrapture all young readers.
In any event, my point was that when something isn't working for a LARGE percentage of your students like that in the long-term, it's time to re-evaluate what's going on and how it needs fixing.