Single-sex education is on the rise
Classes at an Alabama middle school come under fire by ACLU.
In the mid-1990s, there were only two single-sex public schools in the U.S. Today, there are more than 500 public schools in 40 states that offer some single-sex academic classes or, more rarely, are entirely single sex, reports The New York Times.
The topic of single-sex education is a controversial one as educators argue whether forcing students into a single-sex environment boosts academic success.
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Recently, single-sex programs at Huffman Middle School in Birmingham, Ala., as well as at another district in Idaho have come under fire by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), reports AL.com. Complaints filed by the nonpartisan non-profit organization with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights say such programs draw on gender stereotypes, such as men are active and independent while women are passive and dependent, and deprive students of equal educational opportunities.
"We understand that teachers and parents want to provide the best education for their children. But coeducation was never the problem with failing schools, and single-sex programs are not the answer," Christina Brandt-Young, attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project was quoted. "These programs are poorly designed and based on pseudoscience and stereotypes that do nothing to enhance learning, and only reinforce discredited ideas about how boys and girls behave."
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In a September 2011 article in Science, titled “The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling,” authors argue that “sex-segregated education is deeply misguided and often justified by weak, cherry-picked or misconstrued scientific claims rather than by valid scientific evidence.” The article, written by eight social scientists who founded the nonprofit American Council for CoEducational School, goes onto assert, “Boys who spend more time with other boys become increasingly aggressive. Similarly, girls who spend more time with other girls become more sex-typed.”
Do boys and girls learn differently? Do same-sex classrooms create a better learning environment for students? Why or why not?
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Let the teachers worry about teaching these kids how to adequately read, write and do math instead of defining their abilities by their sex. Also, kids need to stay kids as long as they can and stop trying to look and act older than they are. Parents need to educate their kids so they realize not to emulate celebrities and dress and act sleezy.
Sex-segregation should not exist in the boardroom and should not exist in the classroom. How can we expect students to learn to work together if we keep separating them.
If sex-segregation is acceptable, then some groups will want segregation by race, religion or some other backwards notion. Any form of segregation is a step back for society.
Studies on sex-segregated classes focus so much on the students, they rarely include data on having teachers that are the same sex as the student to avoid prejudicial behavior. This can be very complicated or keep it the way the students need it to be in the real world where we all work together.
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