International Opinion

Interesting Stirrings in Alberta

By Richard Whitmire — February 03, 2010 1 min read
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Canada may be the latest country to leave the U.S. behind in searching for a solution to the boy troubles. School gender gaps there are every bit as stark as those found in this country, but public officials seem more open to addressing them.

It all started with the president of the University of Alberta suggesting the university (and all of Canada, actually) needed to examine the campus gender gaps. That didn’t go so well, as I wrote in Inside Higher Education.

And now officials in nearby Calgary are taking a look at what they might do differently. Unlike the flap at the University of Alberta, this probe seems to be proceeding without protests.

Will this start happening in the United States? It almost did in Maine, as I detail in a chapter of Why Boys Fail. But that effort got sidetracked by gender politics, probably killing off interest from other states.

In this country it’s got to start with the White House. President Obama knows what’s going on with black boys. And Obama, along with Arne Duncan and all the education-minded foundations pushing to make the U.S. first in the world in college attainment by 2020, know that won’t happen without seeking interventions for boys.

That federal probe won’t happen, however, unless the White House is willing to confront feminist groups over their increasingly humorous position that boys aren’t in academic trouble.

Will that happen? Hmmmm...Eight million more women than men voted for Obama. You do the math. Doesn’t matter if sensible mothers of boys would like to see action. The national leaders who have Obama’s ear want the policy focus to stay on their issues.

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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.