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Equity & Diversity Opinion

Kristof on Why Boys Fail

By Richard Whitmire — March 28, 2010 1 min read
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Using my book and the recent Center on Education Policy report as springboards, The New York Times columnist takes a look at the boy troubles and settles on the literacy issue as the major trigger.

What strikes me is the range of responses I’ve gotten from the book. Fox & Friends wanted to talk about it, as did Kristof, who is better known for championing girls worldwide. George Stephanopoulos wanted me on Good Morning America; Michael Medved wanted me on his radio show.

All this means that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has the political cover to engage this controversial issue and do what’s right, which is launching an Australian-style probe into the source of the problem and identify some solutions. Today, American educators looking for guideposts for educating boys must turn to the Australian Lighthouse studies.

Duncan has every motivation. Given the campus gender imbalances we see -- 57 percent of four-year degrees going to women, 62 percent of two-year degrees -- there is no way President Obama can achieve his 2020 goal of raising U.S. education attainment to the top of world rankings without engaging the boys.

The math here is simple: either work on the gender gaps or give up the goal.

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