“Single-sex education isn’t for everyone,” said Allison Kasic in The Christian Science Monitor, but if the American Civil Liberties Union has its way, no parents will be able to enroll their children in all-boy or all-girl public-school programs. The ACLU is fighting a same-sex program started in Breckinridge Co., Ky., after the U.S. Education Department loosened rules on such programs to give parents more options. If some kids do better without the distraction of coed classrooms, why not offer a choice?
There are simply no differences in the ways that boys and girls “see, hear, read, remember, or calculate,” said Lise Eliot and Susan McGee Bailey in USA Today, to justify putting them in separate classrooms. The push for more same-sex ed has been driven by reports of a “boy crisis” in our schools, but studying with girls doesn’t hold boys back. “Boys and girls have much to learn from each other.”
Still, there’s no denying that educators have stopped fretting about girls, said Clarence Page in the Chicago Tribune, and started worrying about underachieving boys. Boys do better when they have strong male role models, and studies suggest that same-sex schools can help, too. The trick is finding ways to help boys that don’t take away the progress that girls have made in the classroom.