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Single Sex Education

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With K-12 public school students scoring below proficient on standardized testing, educators and especially parents are trying to find out what are the factors causing this upsetting situation. Over the past few years, single sex education has been an option for parents who have the sufficient economic resources to send their children to private schools. Incorporating this kind of education in public schools is unconstitutional since it would be "[A] violation of the 'equal protection' clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution... and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibits sex discrimination in public and private institutions that receive federal financial assistance" (Brake, D). Some look at single sex education as an excuse to make up for ineffective teachers, old fashioned teaching methods that are no longer helpful and the lack of parent involvement.

Single-sex schools are most effective because they are funded by religious or other kind of private institutions that causes the children's families beliefs to be reinforced, which is what parents ultimately aim for. But on public schools, segregating children by their gender instead of age will strengthen gender stereotypes (or would it not?). "[T]here continue to be areas in which girls lag behind, particularly in math and science. In computer science, the divide has increased in the last few decades--only 18 percent of those taking the AP computer science test are female, down from 34 percent in 1987" (Ellison, J). Segregation by gender will eventually cause an improvement in subjects that the specific gender is not statistically knowledgeable on. For example, boys will do better in poetry and English if they do not have girls around to intimidate them and the same for girls in courses like math and computer science.

This gender gap that exists in public schools is what upsets the parents the most and that is why they are trying to push for public schools to integrate single sex schools teaching methods. According to the results posted on the NASSPE's website, "boys in a single-sex education setting improved their FCAT (Florida's standardized test) scores by nearly fifty percent. Girls in the same situation improved by roughly fifteen percent" (NASSPE. Par.1). Perhaps having single sex schools as an option for students in the public school system will benefit them and eventually start seeing an improvement on the children's learning process.

Work Cited

Deborah L. Brake. "A Legal Framework for Single-Sex Education". Equality Resources Center (Digest). Web. October 1999

Ellison, J.. "The new segregation debate." The daily beast. The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC, 2010. Web. 14 Mar 2012.



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