Smaller class sizes. Higher test scores. Less disciplinary problems.
Is it an educational heaven? In the future maybe. Presently, they are just some of the benefits of single-sex classrooms in public schools.
Single-sex schools have been around for a long time, but single-sex classrooms are a relatively recent phenomena.
In less than a decade, 15 public schools integrated single-sex classrooms in their curricula, and five more began this fall.
These separate and controversial classrooms allow for each gender to learn in the way best suited for them.
According to Leonard Sax’s report “Single-Sex Education: Ready for Prime-time?,” on average, girls not only learn faster than boys, they also earn better grades in every subject.
The Department of Education reported that 11th grade boys write on average, at the same level as eighth grade girls.
Even the best teacher cannot effectively teach the same material on two completely different levels. Unfortunately, one group will get left out.
Not only do single-sex classrooms assist teachers in accommodating different learning styles, but statistically schools that have tried this new style have experienced less behavior problems.
Although the benefits are obvious, the feedback is as varied as its sources.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the American Association of University Women and the National Organization of Women strongly voiced their opposition to these classes. They cited everything from a violation of civil rights to gender segregation.
“If a child or parent believes that there is a better chance of success in a single-sex classroom, then public schools should have the ability to provide that option,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas according to the Web site of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education..
However, the workforce is not gender separated.
As high as their test scores may be, these students need practice before the real world.
No system is without its faults, but some schools create more problems than they have to.
Some stagger class times to avoid girls and boys interacting in the hallway. Others allow students to eat lunch simultaneously, but the boys sit in the boys’ section and vice-versa.
This is ridiculous.
No wonder the ACLU is complaining about gender segregation. These extremist schools are missing the point.
Single-sex classrooms should be just that – gender separation in the classroom not in the educational experience.
Learning to interact with the opposite sex is the non-classroom part of education.
Single-sex classrooms may seem like a regression to feminists, but it’s really an advancement for educators.
-Danielle Wright for the Editorial Board.