Federal OK for same-sex schools

Same-sex education is OK with Uncle Sam.

Until now, single-sex classes have been allowed in only limited cases, such as gym classes and sex education classes.

The new rules will allow same-sex education anytime schools think it will improve students’ achievement, expand the diversity of courses, or meet kids’ individual needs.

Enrollment must be voluntary. And any children excluded from the class must get a “substantially equal” coed class in the same subject, if not a separate single-sex class.

Districts can also offer an entire school for one gender without doing the same for the other gender, as long as there is a coed school that provides substantially the same thing.

Women senators led the push to allow same-sex classes, though some feminists are now complaining.

Update: California’s brief flirtation with all-girls and all-boys programs flopped, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Six programs were tried; five closed within two years.

A Ford Foundation study in 2001 concluded that the experiment had been a failure — not because single-sex education as a concept was bad, but because the programs were often badly carried out, with teachers poorly trained in gender issues and little state funding.

The researchers from Berkeley, San Diego and Toronto concluded that the schools had closed too soon for them to know if girls and boys benefited from the separate classrooms. They did, however, interview more than 300 participants and found that gender stereotypes were often reinforced under California’s program.

I’m dubious about single-sex education, though I’d like to see experiments with boy-oriented classes taught by male teachers. There may be a case for single-sex classes in middle school, when hormones aren’t under control and students are easily distracted.

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Comments

  1. I wonder how Brown v. Topeka figures into this? If “separate but equal” was unacceptable by race why is it acceptable, even to be sought after, by gender?

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    One wonders whether enforcing the equal rather than eliminating the seperate would have benefitted the students more. After all, that is the primary interest, isn’t it?

  3. allen:

    Many minorities are pushing to re-segregate schools by race also. There are several notable charter schools for instance, that are designed as afrocentric (black students only) and “hispanic” (in reality more Aztlan orientated) with only hispanic students.

  4. The primary interest is not all that clear. One of the purposes of public education is indoctrination. The only question that remains if indoctrination is the primary purpose of public education is: who does the indoctrinating?

    Gahrie, I’m aware of the efforts to establish racially segregated schools and I’m even past wondering at the irony. Now I’d just like the racists, of whatever stripe, so to speak, and whatever rationale, to just pay their own damned way.

    If you think your kid ought to be learning about the innate superiority of people then you should bear the cost regardless of your group affiliation. If we can’t have the racists paying for the indoctrination of their kids then we can at least treat all racists identically.

    If an all-black, -brown, -oriental, or -female public school is going to be paid for out of tax revenue then there shouldn’t be any restrictions on all-white, -male, -Protestant public school. Otherwise there’s separation but not equality. As I originally asked, how’s Brown v. Topeka play into this? Anyone know for sure or have an educated opinion?

  5. That third paragraph should read:

    If you think your kid ought to be learning about the innate superiority of {insert identifiable group of choice here} people then you should bear the cost regardless of your group affiliation. If we can’t have the racists paying for the indoctrination of their kids then we can at least treat all racists identically.

    The lesson is; don’t put text between less-then and greater-then symbols. The blog software simply makes it disappear.

  6. Joanne Jacobs says:

    For TypeKey victim wahoofive:

    > I’m dubious about single-sex education, though I’d like to see
    > experiments with boy-oriented classes taught by male teachers.

    Regardless of the results of such experiments, schools still wouldn’t
    be able to discriminate in hiring teachers; this policy doesn’t
    address that.

    wahoofive

  7. You might want to check out this program for an good example of single gender education at the middle school level.

  8. mike from oregon says:

    I went to an all boys high school and didn’t miss a thing, it was nice we could just be boys. My daughters almost went to an all girls high school (the only one left in this city – it consistantly ranks in the top five high schools in the city), the pull was not having to worry about ‘how you look’, the girls regularly pulled some sweats and went to school – something that isn’t that regular at mixed sex high schools. Yes, both single sex schools (mine a long time ago and my daughter’s recently) were private, Catholic high schools.