Tuesday, December 01, 2009

At Least The Girls Didn't Suffer

Studies, it sometimes seems, are a dime a dozen. Still, if this one serves as even a slight counter to the standard pro-charter schools propaganda, it will have served a useful purpose. Some liberals like charter schools as either a private-sector (with public funds) alternative to vouchers or, to speculate, as a nod to a portion of the race-and-gender left; the right is loathe to criticize charters because they are one alternative to the public school system. And a successful public school system shows that government can work, which annoys conservatives to no end.

Research conducted by London's Institute of Education in a study of 17,000 adults "taught in a range of institutions" has found

Boys taught in single-sex schools are more likely to be divorced or separated from their partner than those who attended a mixed school by their early 40s.

Girls seemed to have been unaffected, with the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers claiming (emphasis mine) "Girls seem to learn what the nature of the beast is if they have been to single sex schools whereas boys taught on their own seem to find girls more puzzling."

This remark is puzzling, suspicious, and even a little ugly. But the central finding of a damaging effect on boys should remind us, 55 years after Brown v. Board of Education, that school segregation- even of the voluntary type- is damaging to the psyche of a great nation.

1 comment:

Greg R. said...

I could not agree more with your analysis. From experiences with nearly all of my peers (at a public University), the ones coming from a public school background are significantly more well-rounded and socially advanced than those coming from various charter, private and homeschooling backgrounds.

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