School Choice & Charters Opinion

Lawsuit Against Single Sex Education

By Richard Whitmire — February 25, 2010 1 min read
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Feminists have opposed single-sex education from the beginning. Here’s a taste of their legal arguments surrounding the ongoing lawsuit in Louisiana.

My favorite phony argument is pointing to the federal survey of all single-sex programs, which concluded that on average they work no better than coed classes. That’s like the federal survey of charter schools the unions always embraced that showed the same -- on average, they work no better than traditional schools.

True, but what about the roughly 300 elite charters, ranging from Uncommon Schools to KIPP, that daily hit home runs for inner city kids who never had those opportunities? Tell me again why the DOE wastes its money on such surveys.

There is a case to be made against single-sex education, but discrimination against girls isn’t the real issue. I’ve found no evidence of that. Just the opposite -- girls appear to be benefiting more from it than boys.

The real issue is whether schools are carrying out their programs effectively. How could they? The U.S. Department of Education has offered no research on what works, and doesn’t work, with single-sex education. If I had to pick an entity to sue, I’d go after DOE.

What’s scary is that single-sex education appears to be the only answer educators have come up with to address the boy troubles. When this falls through, then what?

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