The “boy crisis” in schools is a myth, concludes a study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which argued in the ’90s that girls needed more attention. Grades and test scores for boys have remained the same or improved, the AAUW says, even if girls have made larger gains. The real crisis is low performance by low-income, black and Hispanic students, the report argues.
It’s fair to argue that girls’ academic gains haven’t come at the expense of boys, but it’s troubling to see a widening achievement gap. Girls earn higher grades in high school. Overall, 57 percent of college graduates are female.
Black girls are doing much, much better in school than black boys; Hispanic girls also outperform Hispanic boys. There really is a black-Hispanic boy crisis.
Focusing more on the learning needs of boys isn’t necessarily bad for girls.
Update: Inside Higher Ed has more on reaction to the AAUW report.