In spite of stereotypes, gender gaps in math and reading aren’t universal. The most comprehensive study to date on gender gaps suggests the size and even the direction of the gaps vary from one school district to another.
The new Stanford University study comparing gender gaps across nearly 10,000 districts nationwide found no average gender gap in math, but a gap of nearly three-quarters of a grade level favoring girls in reading.
School district and community mattered far more than subject, the researchers found. Gaps favoring boys were more common in wealthier districts and communities where there are big gaps in income between men and women generally. In low-income communities, girls tended to outperform boys in both reading and math.
A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2018 edition of Education Week as Gender Gaps