Friday, May 09, 2014

EDUCATION - Boy's Academic Achievement

In 'my day' (I'm 68) you were a nerd if you didn't like sports and rough-housing.  If you put academics before sports and partying.

"Harnessing boys’ strengths and passions to improve academic achievement" PBS NewsHour 5/7/2014


GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Next, we turn to the latest in our series Parenting Now.

Last night, we focused on concerns about raising girls and the ways our culture shapes their identity.

Tonight, we turn to questions about that challenge of raising boys.

In the classroom, it has long been a given that girls perform better than boys, but that academic achievement gap has now widened beyond elementary school level, to high school and college, where experts are increasingly concerned that boys are falling behind.

When it comes to test scores, girls have essentially closed the math gap with boys.  But boys have not closed the reading gap with girls.  Reading scores show girls seven points ahead by fourth grade, a difference that grows to 10 points by eighth grade, and remains there through high school.

Boys also lag when it comes to grade point averages, and in every state, they drop out of school at a slightly higher rate.  By the time they get to college, 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees are being awarded to women.

For boys who are poor and of color, the situation can be profoundly worse.  Black boys in public schools score almost 30 points lower on reading and math than white boys by fourth grade.  They account for one-fifth of all school expulsions.  And dropout rates for Latino and African-American boys are substantially worse.

T’Roya Jackson, who dropped out of high school in Washington, D.C., is raising a 2-year-old son.  She says she realizes that education must be a higher priority for her child.

T’ROYA JACKSON:  I’m very concerned for him, especially in this day and age, especially for him being an African-American male, and just today, period.  It’s crazy.

GWEN IFILL:  Statistics are only part of the story.  Educators, psychologists and child welfare experts are also concerned about the messages that boys get about masculinity.

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