Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Opinion
Education Opinion

How the Pushback Movement Views the Verbal Scores

By Richard Whitmire — April 27, 2010 1 min read

Finally, the “pushback movement” -- those who scoff at the idea that boys are faring badly in school -- has an answer for the steep verbal score gaps recently reported by the Center for Education Policy.

Actually, the answer from these leading feminist academics -- Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett, both of whom I once debated -- is a little difficult to understand. You’ll have to read it yourself. Roughly translated, I think their argument is:

1. The gaps are minor.
2. If # 1 isn’t true, then serious gaps exist only among minority boys.
3. If #1 and #2 fail to explain away the issue, then those of us who write about the gaps are making things worse by encouraging educators to “dumb down” reading material for boys. Worse, we (my work is cited) encourage mothers to steer their sons away from pursuits that involve verbal skills.

Then the authors make the mistake of quoting Lise Eliot, author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain. Eliot proves that the brain differences between boys and girls are minor, they say.

Opps. Apparently they overlooked the “common ground” commentary Eliot and I wrote for Education Week arguing that the verbal gaps and both serious and broad. What was done more than a decade ago for girls to boost their math and science abilities now needs to be done for boys to boost their literacy skills, we argue.

As I’ve written before, Rivers and Barnett need to get away from their campuses more often. I suggest starting with the world right outside their doors.

The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Human Resources Manager
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Communications Officer
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hamilton County Department of Education
Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read