IWF’s Carrie Lukas had an article over on National Review last week looking at the American Association of University Women’s claim that there is no “boy crisis” in education:
AAUW’s bread and butter has been complaining about how women and girls are “short changed” by the U.S. education system. It’s a case that’s increasingly difficult to make: Girls have higher GPAs in high school, take more difficult course loads, are more likely to graduate, and earn the majority of college degrees. This has led many to wonder if it’s boys, not girls, who are being overlooked in the education system.
It would be bad news indeed for the AAUW if women could not claim first place in the academic grievance contest, so AAUW dedicated their latest report, “Where the Girls Are: The Facts About Gender Equity in Education,” to fending off the idea of a “boy crisis.” They highlight data showing that both men and women have made gains in recent years on many measures, such as college attendance and standardized test scores. Women’s gains have tended to outpace men’s, but they argue that isn’t a concern since women’s gains have not come “at the expense” of men’s.
It’s certainly true that education isn’t purely a zero-sum game, but it’s hard to imagine the AAUW being so blasé about different rates of improvement if girls were failing to close the gap. And other evidence suggests that boys are being disserved by schools: for example, boys are less likely than girls to report they “like” school, and find their work interesting and meaningful. They are less engaged in school-related extra curricular activities, with the exception of athletics.
This doesn’t mean that males should win the victim lottery and be rewarded with Department of Education programs, but it is something for parents to be aware of and seek the academic environment most likely to make their sons excited about learning.
Kathleen Parker weighs in on the study here.