The AAUW has put out another study arguing that there is no “boy crisis” in education. Their main argument seems to be that because both boys and girls are improving on many educational metrics, we shouldn’t have heightened concern about boys just because their rate of improvement has been slower than girls. It’s certainly true that girls improvement isn’t bad news for boys (education isn’t a zero sum situation, except if you are focused on college admissions) but it is interesting to imagine how the AAUW would be reacting if it was girls rate of improvement that was lagging behind boys. Somehow I imagine they would be a little more concern about it and they’d be happy to call it a “crisis.”

And there are important metrics that suggest that the educational system is doing a disservice to boys. For example, boys report much less interest in their class work than girls do. This suggests that teachers (who are overwhelmingly women) may be tailoring their classes more to the interests and aptitudes of girls than boys. That doesn’t mean that the federal government should start embracing programs to turn classrooms more toward boys’ interests. But it’s something that parents should be aware of.

And it’s also another reason that school choice makes sense. I know those at the AAUW are horrified by the idea of single sex classrooms (except of course for women’s colleges) but many parents might think that their son or daughter would do better in an environment that is different than the typical government-run public school. Oh, and it’s probably also time to stop appropriating taxpayer money based on the idea that there is a “girl crisis” at least.