School Choice & Charters Opinion

Single Sex Offerings Cut Back In South Carolina

By Richard Whitmire — March 23, 2010 1 min read
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The nation’s pioneer in expanding single-sex options for parents, South Carolina, is pulling back due to budget cuts.

Nearly 60 schools had to withdraw their offerings, the result of teacher layoffs. That’s down from a peak of 220 schools offering the single-sex option.

In my book, I profile a boys school in New York that’s clearly working -- it’s the highest performing public school at that grade level. Single-sex education can be effective, but it’s not the only option for dealing with the boy troubles. And the fact that it’s a more expensive option makes it an unreliable solution (that, and the fact that national feminist groups lobby to kill it off as a legal option for public schools).

I also profile Frankford Elementary, a very ordinary school in Delaware serving poor and minority students that also succeeded in reducing gender and racial gaps -- the old fashioned way, with smart and determined instruction. Can that be duplicated elsewhere? Yes, but only by boosting the capacity for inspired school leadership.

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