College & Workforce Readiness Opinion

Fewer Oregon Boys Taking SAT

By Richard Whitmire — September 15, 2010 1 min read
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Interesting story out of Oregon indicates the gender gaps may be widening further -- an increase in the number of girls taking the test, an indicator of college aspirations, accompanied by a slight drop in the number of boys taking the test.

Nationally, far more girls than boys take the test, especially poor and minority girls, which skews the results and guarantees that national feminist groups will use the SAT scores as “proof” that boys are doing just fine.

From the Oregon article:

Susanne Smith, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Education, said the decline is alarming when coupled with the other indicators that show boys are struggling academically. Oregon girls are performing as well as boys on state math tests, but boys are trailing girls in reading performance. Male students in Oregon have higher dropout rates and lower graduation rates than their female peers. "The gender gap on assessments is an area of concern for educators," Smith said, "and our schools are focusing on instructional and curriculum strategies that resonate with male learning styles."

Focusing on male learning styles? Interesting, but also raises the question: what if boys don’t really have ‘learning style’ differences? Did some boy/chemistry change in the last 25 years, the time period when the gender gaps formed, that gave them learning style differences?

What if the answer is something more simple: adjust your teaching techniques to prevent them from falling behind in your early-grades accelerated reading curriculum! What are you doing to prepare boys for that?

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.