Kim Gandy doesn’t want her daughters to attend single-sex schools. Fair enough. It seems nobody’s business but hers to decide what kind of classroom will best meet her children’s needs. I respect her right to make that choice.
The problem is, Gandy doesn’t respect the right of other parents to make their own choices. In an op-ed in yesterday’s USA Today, Gandy argued against single-sex schools, highlighting research that suggests that gender has little impact on how kids learn and that single sex schools don’t provide a better education.
But what if I don’t care what the research shows? What if I think my particular child will be better off in classrooms without the distraction of the opposite sex? Gandy doesn’t want to let me, or any other parent, make that decision. She wants the government to offer a one-size-fits-all option-her preferred option, naturally.
If parents were free to choice their schools (for example, through the use of vouchers), then we wouldn’t have to have these debates about single-sex classrooms, sex education, or curriculum content. Parents, instead of bureaucrats, would make those determinations.
Of course, some parents-parents with the money to pay for private school-have options. Gandy has yet to call for legislation to outlaw the existence of private schools; it’s just parents held hostage to the public school system that she wants to deny the luxury of choice.
What’s most bizarre about feminist hostility to K-12 single-sex education is that feminists champion women’s colleges. If NOW thinks single-sex education is so awful for girls, why don’t they push Mt. Holyoke or Smith to start admitting men?