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Fourth graders enrolled in all-girls schools most often cite mathematics as their favorite subject, according to a recent survey by the National Coalition of Girls Schools.

Forty-three percent of the 500 4th graders surveyed said math was their preferred subject, while English won 29 percent of the votes.

In addition to the survey of 4th graders, the N.C.G.S. also polled 700 graduating seniors at its member schools, and found that 48 percent intend to pursue math, science, business, or engineering degrees in college.

That figure is almost double the national average of 27.2 percent of young women who expressed those goals in a 1991 report on American freshmen by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, said Wendy Schwimmer, a spokesman for N.C.G.S. The association represents 22,000 girls in 60 public and private schools nationwide.

The survey results show that students attending all-girls schools maintain throughout high school their interest in math and science, association officials said. Educators often find that girls begin to lose interest in those subjects in junior high and high school.

"The inclusive environment of girls schools helps boost the self-esteem and expectations of young women at a critical time in their lives,'' Mary Lou Leipheimer, a co-chair of the N.C.G.S., said in a statement.

Vol. 11, Issue 38

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