Could it be that, despite all the talk of a “war against boys” and a generalized “boy crisis,” today’s schools are actually serving the male half pretty well? A new study by Education Sector, a Washington think tank, suggests as much. The study surveys test results and academic achievement over the past 30 years and finds that, on the whole, boys’ scores have improved significantly in that time and that more boys are getting college degrees. However, black and Hispanic boys still lag far behind their white peers academically—a disparity that the report suggests should be the real focus of concern. The report says that the widely reported “boy crisis” in schools has been leveraged by ideological activists on both the left and right as a way to castigate particular learning methods and teaching styles. “Yet there’s not sufficient evidence—or the right kind of evidence—available to draw firm conclusions,” the authors say. But don’t expect the issue to disappear: In response to the Education Sector study, Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life, observed that boys’ issues range far beyond what test scores can tell.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.