Rebekah points to an interesting article debunking the so-called ‘boy crisis’ in education, which suggests that boys are falling behind because of hostile classroom environments and biased curricula. As it turns out, race trumps gender by a mile:
It becomes clear that if there is a crisis, it’s among inner-city and rural boys. White suburban boys aren’t significantly touched by it. On average, they are not dropping out of school, avoiding college or lacking in verbal skills. Although we have been hearing that boys are virtually disappearing from college classrooms, the truth is that among whites, the gender composition of colleges is pretty balanced: 51 percent female and 49 percent male, according to the National Education Association. In Ivy League colleges, men still outnumber women…
Among whites in Boston public schools, for every 100 males who graduate, 104 females do. A tiny gap.
But among blacks, for every 100 males who graduate, 139 females do. Florida’s graduation rates among all students show a striking picture of race and class: 81 percent for Asians, 60 percent for whites, 48 percent for Hispanics and 46 percent for blacks.
It seems to me that we’re ignoring the much more vexing issue of race to address this apparent low-hanging fruit.
I should point out that that university data is considerably different in Canada. Stats Canada reports that women now account for 6 out of every 10 university graduates. Is this a crisis? Not really (though, it’s a small tragedy that I’m not an undergraduate these days). I suspect more boys have gone to trade schools and community colleges, because trade and crafts person work has become lucrative in recent years.