February 5, 2013

"[E]lementary school-aged boys are actually smarter than girls, but teachers screw them over by giving them lower grades based on their behavior."

That's a meme — or a distortion of the meme — but is it what the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study really showed?
Rather, its [sic] more likely that differences in noncognitive skills mediated boys' ability to demonstrate performance in the classroom. We tend to have this idea that test scores reflect the magical truth about how well children "really" perform. But the reality is that there's no magical ideal of "true" performance. There's plenty of evidence that how you score on tests has significant predictive power in life. But how children execute and demonstrate skills in classroom and real-life tasks matters, too. Teacher-assigned grades reflect students' demonstrated performance in the classroom (on both regular class and homework assignments and teacher-created tests). And it's likely that boys' weaker non-cognitive skills resulted in submitted work that demonstrated lower quality of performance than the girls did. After all, if you're not good at being organized, persisting in completing tasks, or paying attention, you're probably not going to do as well in school as someone who is good at those things.

The really interesting question, then, is what you do with that result. Some people have responded to this study by saying that it's evidence that school practices systematically discriminate against boys....

93 comments:

CEO-MMP said...

Elementary school aged boys don't care about school. There's too much else to do. Then about middle school age some of them start to care, and some care through high school and some don't.

Good teachers know this and adjust accordingly.

My mother was a first grade teacher for years and years. I've heard this song a couple of times before.

Shouting Thomas said...

Some decades ago, the fact that men outnumbered women by 60% to 40% in the college population was prima facie evidence of a crisis of discrimination.

A national campaign to fix this crisis was launched.

Now that those numbers have reversed and women outnumber men by 60% to 40%, we seem to need additional proof. Discrimination can no longer be assumed.

Performing on tests in school is the training ground for clerical work in the offices. This is where you learn to kiss ass properly, sit on your ass all day bored out of your mind and conform to the expectations of a feminized society.

Do we want to continue to abuse boys this way? Maybe we need a different track for boys. Or do we just continue to play "A Boy Named Sue" with young men?

Hagar said...

Can't speak the jargon, but I would think that in a system where 85% of the teachers are female, the system is going to favor feminine values.

CEO-MMP said...

No, ST, the entire process of elementary school (and beyond, really) is aimed at breaking the spirits and wills of boys before they become men because men are bad.

Jack said...

I guess the real question is... What do grades mean?

If grades mean "subjective assessment of this human being as a well-rounded reasonably intelligent human being that I as the teacher like because they fit my preconceived notion of how a child or student should behave" then okay.

On the other hand if grades mean "What is this student's competency in this subject area?" Then we have the problem. Grades are being used by different people to mean different things.

I don't really care if grades mean alternative A or B, all I care about is once we agree that grades mean alternative A, then we should also be able to agree that grades really are fairly meaningless non-indicators. Once we accept that truth, we can move on to realities like most of school is an utter waste of time.

Henry said...

Speaking only of my own, oldest son, legible handwriting is his doom. Even I can't read his answers sometime.

Erika said...

My three daughters have all been high achievers since day one of school. My son, who is as they say ALL BOY, will probably be homeschooled until at least fourth or fifth grade. I've seen enough to know that he's going to be punished for being a boy.

CEO-MMP said...

Grades mean almost nothing.

Had a college professor once who gave me a B. I knew I didn't deserve a B and asked him about it. He said the average Beloit student is a B student, you got an average grade, therefore, a B. I said...you mean I got a C, which I think I deserved and he said yes.

Grade inflation! Grade manipulation! Give the good quiet girls A's, give the rowdy boys C's and make them stay in at recess with their heads on their desks so they'll have more energy to be even more disruptive in the afternoon! Then make them stay after school or skip morning recess!

Do everything possible to stifle them, break them, and make sure they knuckle under!

But I'm not bitter.

mark said...

In school boys must act like girls. And if they do not, they must be medicated.

That is what I see happening.

chickelit said...

I think Mark Twain was onto this scam long ago.

Shouting Thomas said...

I think that the majority of boys prefer to go into the trades. The need for plumbers, electricians, carpenters, heavy equipment mechanics, etc., is pretty constant.

That is, it would be, if we would cease with the amnesties and open borders crap.

I think it would probably be better to get boys who prefer fixing cars and boilers into trade schools early in life instead of subjecting them to the S&M game of academic schools.

Astro said...

As I understand it, most elementary schools have eliminated mid-morning recess, thus eliminating an important period of time that gives boys a chance to burn off some energy. Who wants to sit still and listen to the teacher do her whaaa-whaa-whaaaaa-whaaa stuff when you want - no, need - to run around outside for a while?

OTOH, learning can be fun for boys, too, if it can be competitive. At the (parochial) school I went to, the teachers typically divided the class into groups and had each group compete against the other groups. [You know - like the different 'houses' at Hogwarts, but on a smaller scale.]

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse doesn't seem to understand that the amnesty and open borders stuff is an all out assault on the aspirations of boys who prefer blue collar work.

Seems to be something she just can't see.

mark said...

I would like to see a study on the use of drugs to modify childhood behavior. And if they are disproportionately used on boys.

Marshal said...

Some people have responded to this study by saying that it's evidence that school practices systematically discriminate against boys....

It's revealing how the left reacts to "evidence". When a superficial analysis supports the narrative that analysis is trumpeted and further analysis ignored or attacked (77 cents on the dollar comes to mind). When it doesn't support the narrative the superficial reading is undermined and labelled inconclusive. This isn't science, it's advocacy.

Bruce Hayden said...

Can't speak the jargon, but I would think that in a system where 85% of the teachers are female, the system is going to favor feminine values.

The scary thing there is that a world without males is a world without advancement. Female values of compromise, collaboration, and just being nice and demonstrably hard working for a couple years before they have kids, just doesn't invent that much, build that many small companies into big ones, etc. The female characteristics are great for that Utopia that progressive so want, but it will be a socialist Utopia without much in the way of scientific advancement. On average, males are more the risk takers, have more focus, when they want to have it, and are willing to spend many more hours, years, and decades making their dream work, and that is why most important inventions are earned by males, along with still winning a goodly majority of scientific Nobel prizes, etc.

Jim Gust said...

"I think that the majority of boys prefer to go into the trades."

The building trades in my area are completely dominated by legal immigrants. The contractor speaks English, none of his workers do. They do excellent work, they do it fast, and they do it cheap.

In other words, ST, I agree with you. It's no longer an option.

Freeman Hunt said...

The extra skills they're referring to are mostly the skills needed for their particular artificial environment.

Surfed said...

Not where I work in an inner city school. We cherish our future gang bangers and father rapers, our senior citizens (16 years old in 7th grade) who brag they already have three baby momma's and are looking for another. Our drug dealers and wilders. That said my school district has a policy the "Every Child Goes to College". Stupidest policy evah. I could go on, but why?

LarsPorsena said...

The 'War Against Boys' (See Christina Sommers) continues.

Mitchell the Bat said...

"Rather, its [sic] more likely that differences in noncognitive skills mediated boys' ability to demonstrate performance in the classroom."

It's quite fashionable these days to use the word "mediate."

I'm never quite sure what it means.

But my advice to the author would have been to go with "affected."

But as I said before, I'm not quite sure what she's trying to say.

EDH said...

They added... the Approaches to Learning subscale. This data reflected teachers response to a question...

Did they cross section the data to look at the sex differences in grades based the sex of the teacher?

Are there enough male teachers in the lower grades to even have a meaningful sample?

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Schools highly value the skills of the clerical assistant or office manager. Those are important jobs, but they are not the only jobs in the world.

bagoh20 said...

I was a genius in 6th grade with the top scores in the entire district on those endless aptitude and I.Q. tests they used used to do at the time. Elected school president, student science director, and head eraser cleaner.

What the hell happened? It's been straight down hill ever since. I'm not sure I could even pass the 6th grade today. I went quiet in middle school, and then completely counter-culture in high school. I don't think I did 10% of my homework from 7th grade through college, and I was homeless and broke at 22. I'm much better now, but I must admit that the most fun was at the bottom.

Bruce Hayden said...

One of the unfortunate aspects of this feminization of school ties into the violence problems seen in the inner cities right now. The boys aren't rewarded in school, but the girls are. And, so, they all ultimately grow up, and the girls have college educations, and, maybe even graduate degrees, and the boys do not. That would be fine if women were willing to marry down, but they aren't wired that way, or, at least a lot of them aren't. So, they don't marry as often as in the past. An awful lot less in the lower socioeconomic strata. And, without marriage, the women have sex and children on the men's terms - no strings attached. And, without fathers in the homes, even more males of the next generation don't make it through high school, but instead start running in juvenile packs instead, terrorizing the neighborhoods. It is a vicious cycle that seems to be getting worse with every generation - Black legitimacy rate has dropped from maybe 3/4 to 1/4 since LBJ's War on Poverty was enacted. (And, yes, I am drifting off topic a little - but it is all interconnected).

I do think male education is becoming a crisis, and I think that the effects of this, and of the related feminization of education, is much more destructive of the society that we live in than most will admit, and esp. those most involved in education. They seem to ask why males can't be more like females, when the better question is whether trying to force males to be more like females has any serious downsides to society. And, as many here, I think that it does.

mark said...

I should have checked the CDC. Boys are 2.8 times more likely to be medicated for ADHD then girls. If ADHD is truly a disorder then why the massive difference?

I believe that we are rather seeing, similarly to the article reference in the post, pressure upon boys to conform AS females. Nearly 9 out of 10 of their teachers will be female. A majority of the authors of their textbooks will be female. A majority of the colleges producing their teachers will be female dominated.

And if they do not conform ... they do get lower grades. And if they can't be "controlled" they will be medicated.

I hear a lot of excuses that learning to sit down, shut up, and to not bother anyone are all good skills to learn. That it isn't bad to encourage boys to act like good little girls. But, it is killing them. Because they aren't little girls. They are boys.

Shouting Thomas said...

One of my closest friends convinced me to participate Sunday in a video being produced by a Dutch videographer. The video will be distributed mostly in Europe and parts of Latin American.

My friend has long been involved in men's rights politics. I participate reluctantly from time to time. I'm mostly out of place there, because I think that feminist history is a pile of shit, and that the answer for men is traditional values and traditional family life. The men's rights groups are populated mostly by men who want a "feminism for men" political movement.

One of the oft-repeated maxims of the men's rights groups is that feminism is predicated on the fear that some poor woman somewhere will have to be married to a blue collar man. Every woman should be entitled to the life portrayed in "Sex in the City!" Anything else would be a tragedy.

We are busy closing down the avenues of employment that blue collar men enjoy. The amnesty and open borders shit is a catastrophe for blue collar men. So is the left's campaign against the fossil fuel biz.

carrie said...

I have two sons who swear that boys were discriminated against at the elementary and middle school levels, and I agreed with them. They never complained about that in high school.

bpm4532 said...

People accept there are male/female cognitive differences in children, but refuse to believe there can be other cognitive differences later in life that may explain the ratio of men/women in certain professions?

Jane said...

Open borders = every job that doesn't require a US-issued credential and/or fluent English will pay minimum wage. right?

But high test scores + low grades does not necessarily mean discrimination, if the boys aren't handing in their homework.

Bob R said...

To me the only surprising thing about this is that the boys actually did better on the cognitive metrics and they reported it.

Anyone who is surprised that school (particularly elementary school) ranks students based on things other than cognitive achievement is not being very observant. Most schools are quite open about this. Of course, it's always been obvious in, for instance, military schools. They teach discipline first, and if you happen to learn to read, write, and count along the way that's a bonus. But go look at any education school's standards for teachers. Cognitive mastery is not close to their only goal.

virgil xenophon said...

@surfed/

Only 16? LOL. At Live Oak Middle School in New Orleans an acquaintance of mine once had a 19-year-old in her 8th Grade class. (circa 1996)

Tank said...

Bruce Hayden said...

Can't speak the jargon, but I would think that in a system where 85% of the teachers are female, the system is going to favor feminine values.


On the other hand, when I went to school, long ago, most teachers were female, and the schools were NOT feminized the way they are now. This is a political change, but probably brought about by women.

Shana said...

I'm sympathetic with what you are suggesting about boys and the trades, ST, but I see a problem. Very few men are able to stay in the same line of work their entire lives. They need some non-specialized education that helps them know how to read the tea leaves and adjust to the changing economy. I am not sure how to accomplish this with the blue collar workers other than make sure they have a good base of math, science, mechanics, electrical, and basic economics and civics. I agree that the current system of English classes featuring angst-filled literature doesn't help.

For those in more white collar work, I think this is actually an argument for the resurrection of a good liberal arts education, and I don't mean womyn's studies. I mean a real, honest-to-God learn-how-to-think logically and write well kind of education. Bring back Latin, Greek, Plutarch,and Cicero.

rhhardin said...

I spent classroom time drawing pictures of guns.

Bruce Hayden said...

What the hell happened? It's been straight down hill ever since. I'm not sure I could even pass the 6th grade today. I went quiet in middle school, and then completely counter-culture in high school. I don't think I did 10% of my homework from 7th grade through college, and I was homeless and broke at 22. I'm much better now, but I must admit that the most fun was at the bottom.

I wasn't quite that smart, so maybe didn't sink quite so low. My best year in K-12 was 5th grade, where I scored 2nd in the school on IQ and achievement tests. Worst was 7th grade, where I was growing so quickly, and even science was hard, with a lot of stupid memorization. HS was tolerated, and my last two years I managed without taking any books home, since I could do the reading and homework for one class in the previous one. Had horses, skiing, and, ultimately a girlfriend. Much more important, and I got decent grades, despite not taking the books home. Usually got As in math and science but the grades got lower and lower the more subjective the classes, and, thus, in my mind at the time, the more the grades depended on sucking up to the teachers. Got good, but not great grades there again, and, there it was more a result of not doing homework. Had excellent LSATs (maybe top 2%), but didn't have the grades for LS, so ultimately had a career in software and an MBA before finally going to LS and becoming a lawyer. And, I will admit that I didn't have the study habits at 22 that I would have needed there, but by the time I went, it was fairly easy to buckle down and get the work done, and get good grades.

Thinking back to junior and senior high, I never really liked school, despite knowing that I was going to college, and doing better than most guys in my school. I didn't do well socially, and so many of the classes, even back then 45 years ago, seemed designed more for the girls.

What I discovered though in the 40 years between when I went to middle and high school is that it has gotten even worse for the boys, and even at private schools. In a lot of classes, I could get low As by acing the tests, and sliding a bit on homework. Not any more. Now, I would get a low B or maybe even a C. Homework and group projects make up a significantly larger percentage of their grades now, than when I went to school.

Shana said...

I had enough college friends who were elementary education majors to know that 85% of them are dumb as rocks. And yes, I know that your mom, sister, wife are the exceptions.

Boys learn better if they can go outside and play sword fight with sticks, or clear some brush with a machete, or work on their free throws for 30 minutes every now and then. Then they can refocus. Not gonna happen at most schools with the safety first, girl power culture.

bagoh20 said...

It seems that most school in K-12 is designed today to best prepare you to be a teacher. In the past, high school had a lot of trade education included which really helped me. I was in a college prep curriculum, but I took shop classes anyway. I still use things every day that I learned in wood shop, electric shop, metal shop and auto shop. I actually use these thing to accomplish real tasks all the time, and to build further knowledge on. That's education, and it's missing today.

The one thing that is hardest to find in my search for employees and toughest to install in people is ability to make things and fix things with their hands. It's also rare to find someone who can write well, but that can be learned later. A mechanical aptitude and confidence needs to start early, and you will never stop needing it and using it to advantage.

Surfed said...

@Virgil xenophon - One upping you. My brother was teaching at an inner-city school in our city when a new student came into his classroom. As he was taking her paper work to enroll her one of the other student's said, "Letisha girl, youi be 20 years old. What you be doing here?" My brother taught 9th grade.

Bruce Hayden said...

People accept there are male/female cognitive differences in children, but refuse to believe there can be other cognitive differences later in life that may explain the ratio of men/women in certain professions?

I don't think that it is just cognitive differences. Or, at least not how I understand that word. Rather, the other thing that comes into play is that males, on average, can work much harder, for many more hours, for many more years and decades, single mindedly than females can. Balance isn't nearly as much an issue for males as it is for females. And, on average again, they aren't as torn when trying to multi-task when it comes to the divided allegiances of raising a family.

bagoh20 said...

"But high test scores + low grades does not necessarily mean discrimination, if the boys aren't handing in their homework."

That was me, and I think it's common. I think boys actually have their most cognitive experiences out of school, being active, seeing, touching, manipulating and doing. Sitting and doing homework for many of them is an obstacle to the learning they are naturally driven to do. Unfortunately they are graded not on how much they learn in general, but what and how they do it.

I skipped a lot of homework in my life, but although doing more would have improved my academic performance, my call is that it would have retarded my lifetime accomplishment. Still, I wish I had both, but life is short, and my bedroom was so small.

Gahrie said...

I'm a teacher.

First of all, all this talk about a crisis in education is so much bullshit.

Our high school graduation rates are near historical highs.

Other countries do better than tests on us because they have an easier language, (English is one of the hardest languages to learn for several reasons) and a homogenous school population. (When you compare American Whites and Asians to other countries we are doing just as well.

You want to fix education?

1) Consequences. I used to regularly have 8th graders who had failed all six classes all three years of middle school with a discipline screen pages long who were promoted to the high school. In ten years we retained maybe a dozen students, and that was because their parents begged us to. How well do you think those kids performed as ninth graders?

2) Tracking. It simply works. However it produces unpleasant demographics, so it is actually illegal in many places.

3) Dump this unrealistic notion of college for all, and bring back a solid general education program and vocational education programs.

Shanna said...

As I understand it, most elementary schools have eliminated mid-morning recess

I think cutting recess down or out is a huge problem. Kids need time to run around. It’s good for them. Hell, it’s probably good for adults too.

Gahrie said...

"Letisha girl, youi be 20 years old. What you be doing here?" My brother taught 9th grade.

In California, special ed students can attend public schools until they are 22.

edutcher said...

Ah, feminism.

Is there nothing it can't screw up?

Henry said...

Speaking only of my own, oldest son, legible handwriting is his doom. Even I can't read his answers sometime.

In public school is this?

The Blonde's second-oldest nephew, an otherwise very bright kid, can barely print because the public school system (on of the best in OH, supposedly) doesn't think anybody needs to write because we all have keyboards now!

mark said...

I should have checked the CDC. Boys are 2.8 times more likely to be medicated for ADHD then girls. If ADHD is truly a disorder then why the massive difference?

It's a racket. The Blonde's youngest nephew, granted very poorly raised, was a fairly bright kid with a lot of curiosity.

Ritalin put an end to that.

Shanna said...

I should have checked the CDC. Boys are 2.8 times more likely to be medicated for ADHD then girls. If ADHD is truly a disorder then why the massive difference?

There could be legitimate reasons for this. Autism is more likely in males than females too. Boys brains develop differently then girls. But ADHD may very well be over diagnosed as well.

bagoh20 said...

"As I understand it, most elementary schools have eliminated mid-morning recess"

What could be more unnatural than to have kids sit for long hours without active play. That is counter-prodcutive, and I can't think of a more valuable way to spend 30 minutes than recess if you are trying to get kids minds to concentrate and love school.

Bruce Hayden said...

The one thing that is hardest to find in my search for employees and toughest to install in people is ability to make things and fix things with their hands. It's also rare to find someone who can write well, but that can be learned later. A mechanical aptitude and confidence needs to start early, and you will never stop needing it and using it to advantage.

I think though that a lot of that is innate. My next brother is decent with his hands, and can figure out how pretty much anything works (outside of maybe electronics and software - and he isn't bad there, just not a natural). So, he got an MS/ME and worked as an engineer for awhile before also becoming a patent attorney, where he still puts that ability to work.

But me? He has always gained joy esp. in mechanical things, like working on cars - for a long time rebuilding his summer car every winter, and his winter car every summer. That sort of thing. Me? It was always a job. Nothing more. No joy, just something to get done. People are always amazed when I tell them all the things that I have done on cars through the years, including replacing engines, transmissions, etc. No joy in it, just a hot, sweaty, job. Yet, we are 1 1/2 years apart, raised together, and almost inseparable until I went through puberty first. Of my other two surviving brothers, both have green thumbs and enjoy working in the yard - and I again think of it as hard, boring, unrewarding work. One of them is ok mechanically, about where I am, and the other was a history major with zero aptitude for anything mechanical. So, out of 4 boys, we have 1 great mechanically, 2 pretty good in the yard, with one of these being extraordinarily good at the physics side of microelectronics, and the 4th (me) a whiz at computers, but mediocre at mechanical stuff, lower than that at working with my hands, and really despising yard work.

I find some validity in the observation that we all show a preference among visual, aural, and tactile sensing, and I think that that preference somewhat determines where we get the most joy. I am the furthest thing from being tactile, and, so, derive no joy from working with my hands. None. But, I have known plenty of people, male and female, who did.

Shana said...

Gahrie said:

"I'm a teacher.

First of all, all this talk about a crisis in education is so much bullshit.

Our high school graduation rates are near historical highs.

Other countries do better than tests on us because they have an easier language, (English is one of the hardest languages to learn for several reasons) and a homogenous school population. (When you compare American Whites and Asians to other countries we are doing just as well.

You want to fix education?

1) Consequences. I used to regularly have 8th graders who had failed all six classes all three years of middle school with a discipline screen pages long who were promoted to the high school. In ten years we retained maybe a dozen students, and that was because their parents begged us to. How well do you think those kids performed as ninth graders?

2) Tracking. It simply works. However it produces unpleasant demographics, so it is actually illegal in many places.

3) Dump this unrealistic notion of college for all, and bring back a solid general education program and vocational education programs."

If our education system doesn't need fixing, then why are you offering fixes (which I mostly agree with)? Just because we graduate record numbers of students doesn't mean they are educated. I think that relates more to your point #1. I think retaining kids who don't want to be there drags the kids that DO want to be there down.

Bruce Hayden said...

There could be legitimate reasons for this. Autism is more likely in males than females too. Boys brains develop differently then girls. But ADHD may very well be over diagnosed as well.

I think that one problem is that it is often hard to separate ADHD from hyperactivity, and that in younger males is more a result of being boys, than anything else. So, the result is that boys are being medicated for being boys. Better to give them extra time to run off that excess energy than to drug them to act more like the much more sedentary girls. And, it doesn't help that their male behavior is being viewed through the sexist lens of female teachers in a feminized education system.

rhhardin said...

Imus this morning needles Mike Lupica about an inserted PC story twist

Lupica: ..and there's teriffic girl in this book called Lilly Wyatt and she's..

Imus: What does she do?

Lupica: She's in the sixth grade with the rest of them but she is, she has been best friend..

Imus: Does she play basketball, or..

Lupica: She plays basketball, and she plays softball, and she's quite good at all of them but her season is not as relevant to the books as the boys' season

Imus: Okay, and what.., does she cook in the book, or

Lupica: Does she cook?

Imus: Yeah, does she know how to cook or anything? ... Does she make the boys snacks?

Lupica: No, she doesn't! Usually the parents bring the snacks to these games

Imus: Okay, well, she's eleven, it's about time you start learning how to do that, don't you think? To prepare for...

Henry said...

@edutcher. It's a small motor skills thing. Not the school system.

I've encountered some dumb stuff in the two wildly different schools my kids have gone to (mostly in the first, poor, urban school). But my son has never had it harder because he's a boy.

edutcher said...

At 20?

MadisonMan said...

As I understand it, most elementary schools have eliminated mid-morning recess

I see this written alot. Is it actually true that schools have eliminated recess? Here in liberal Madison, recess continues (at least at the schools my kids went to).

Gahrie said...

If our education system doesn't need fixing, then why are you offering fixes (which I mostly agree with)?

Because, while our education system is not in crisis, it does have serious problems. Think the washer overflowing versus the dam breaking.

edutcher said...

Given the last "election", I'd say the dam broke some time ago and it's past time to find a rubber raft.

Moose said...

I'd be interested to see an account from Ann regarding how she raised her 2 boys.
My boy, 15, has had huge problems in school and has continually had to have IEPs and "special" considerations to get thru this school work. He reads and writes at a college level, and is quite gifted at math. Problem is - he's incredibly lazy.
Now, thru the way that school is currently structured, he's basically found a way to game the system and employ the way it works.
Now given the obvious - up to high school he had -0- male teachers and only one male principal, could that perhaps have had an effect? Bias is odd, because when you ask people who run the system they'll find all sorts of reasons (like "non-cognitive" skills. Really?) to explain that there *may* be a problem but its not *their* fault. That's what this article smacks of. Look at all the cool stats we've collected, but ignore the results - they just confirm our biases.

Jane said...

On male vs. female teachers: some time ago, I recall reading that the % of elementary school teachers who are male has dropped in the past several decades, when you would expect it to have increased due to the movement of women into other professions. (Quite the opposite of male nurses, I believe.) Anyone else read this? The editorial comment at the time was "this was because they were accused of sexual abuse, or worried about the accusation", which I found improbable, but didn't dig into it any further.

Bob R said...

The measured outcomes of public education have been flat since the '70's. So I agree that it's bullshit to call that a crisis. You shouldn't stasis a crisis.

There are plenty of states where there is a crisis, but that's because they keep paying more and more for the same crappy outcomes. Moreover. they've promised a lot of pension money to the teachers who presided over the crappy outcomes in the past. But that's a financial crisis, not an educational crisis.

MadisonMan said...

I don't know if my son struggles in High School -- I think not. He is in Sports, and you have to do well to participate, and that's a big motivation for him.

Like moose's son, he's incredibly lazy. Well, I probably was at his age too. And I think some of it is plain old-fashioned fatigue.

madAsHell said...

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study??
Longitudinal!?!

Is "longitudinal" the new "holistic" ??

Larry J said...

Gahrie said...
I'm a teacher.

First of all, all this talk about a crisis in education is so much bullshit.

Our high school graduation rates are near historical highs.


Anything is possible if you lower your standards far enough. Go look at textbooks from 40 or more years ago and try to make the case they haven't been dumbed down. Take a look at the number of college freshmen - even with good high school GPAs - who need remedial classes before being ready to take on dumbed-down college classes. But their self-esteem is boundless! They're as dumb as dirt but feel really good about themselves.

rhhardin said...

We need stronger women teaching.

ErnieG said...

After all, if you're not good at being organized, persisting in completing tasks, or paying attention, you're probably not going to do as well in school as someone who is good at those things.

Or things like jumping through hoops on command.

Scott M said...

This is a political change, but probably brought about by women...

...and beta or gamma males trying to get laid by furry women.

Jerome said...

If your children aren't guilty, why send them to prison? Home school.

Kirk Parker said...

learning can be fun for boys, too, if it can be competitive

Oh oh, Astro just said a bad word.

Bruce Hayden said...

Our high school graduation rates are near historical highs.

The problem there is that this is the celebration of process over results, and is what bureaucrats and bureaucracies are really good at. As has been pointed out above by others, graduation results are high because standards are low enough that most kids in most school districts can be pushed through the system.

Alex said...

Schools today are designed to churn out feminists and sexual deviants, not men.

ricpic said...

In one of his posts, Bruce Hayden says that he figured out that the way to get better grades in the subjective courses was to be a suck-up and he didn't want to do that. I think that right there is the explanation for the disparity in performance. Maybe the word suck-up is a bit strong, but many girls are naturally well behaved and cooperative, very cooperative toward the teacher. They figure out what she wants to hear and feed that back to her. Boys with any life in them are looking to liven things up, say something witty or contrary in class, if for no other reason than to relieve the boredom. They're not even necessarily being rebellious but the dullard teachers interpret their natural obstreperousness as delinquency.

Gahrie said...

Anything is possible if you lower your standards far enough. .... Take a look at the number of college freshmen - even with good high school GPAs - who need remedial classes before being ready to take on dumbed-down college classes.

This is largely a result of the movement to promote college for all.

Methadras said...

Misandry. Nothing new here.

n.n said...
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n.n said...
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n.n said...

Interesting. They respond to bias with bias. Is this what passes for contemporary intellectualism?

As for assessments, by test or other sampling methods, they can, and do, provide a forecast. They represent skillful predictions, but only within a constrained frame of reference.

This reminds me of the weather vs climate vs system debate. Many, if not most, people find it difficult enough to exploit the difference between a deterministic and stochastic model. Then we subordinate them to a chaos model, and profitability immediately sinks.

How is an individual or cooperative supposed to profitably exploit differentials and gradients, for advancing political, economic, and social standing, without assuming a consensus or collective class?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When my son was in second grade, lo these fifteen years ago, his teacher hinted around that he probably needed to be taking drugs for ADD. We recognized this as a load of crap. Jack was not disruptive, disrespectful or destructive, but he had a lot of energy. In short, he acted like a boy. Teacher wanted to teach girls, who act like boys on drugs.

ndspinelli said...

Having taught in public and private schools, this is absolutely no surprise. I got my teaching cert. in my late 40's. The indoctrination by school of education profs about "protecting girls from male domination in the classroom" and then seeing that implemented was appalling.

ndspinelli said...

Tyrone..BINGO!!!

ndspinelli said...

Moose, 80% of teachers are female but in K-8 it's over 90%.

Big Mike said...

Some people have responded to this study by saying that it's evidence that school practices systematically discriminate against boys....

Certainly my own experiences putting two sons through K-12 provides plenty of evidence for systematic discrimination against boys.

Smilin' Jack said...

"[E]lementary school-aged boys are actually smarter than girls, but teachers screw them over by giving them lower grades based on their behavior."

Which is as it should be. School isn't about learning. The smart kids are going to learn what they need to know anyway. All the dumb ones need to learn is to do as they're told; that's what school is for.

Alex said...

Smilin Jack - schools are for socialization.

DADvocate said...

Some people have responded to this study by saying that it's evidence that school practices systematically discriminate against boys....

Certainly my own experiences putting two sons through K-12 provides plenty of evidence for systematic discrimination against boys.


Amen. You know if the study showed the same factors relating to girls that is shows relating to boys, the feminists and liberals would howling.

I have 2 sons and 2 daughters, all smart. But, if you have a conversation with them, it rapidly becomes clear the boys have a much greater intellectual curiosity teamed with a willingness to question the authority of teachers, etc. Judging from years of parent-teacher conferences, I'd also say, in my kids' schools at least, on averagea the male teachers are smarter than the female teachers.

MadisonMan said...

on average the male teachers are smarter than the female teachers.

Agreed. At least that's been my experience as well.

Madison is in the process of getting a new Superintendent, by the way. Let me just say that I'm glad my son is a Jr. this year and that we'll be out of the Public Schools soon.

Astro said...

When my son was in the 7th grade the Math teacher wanted a conference with my wife and I about our son. He was doing really well in Math, but his attitude was problem. 'What was he doing wrong?' we of course asked.
'He's a non-conformist' she replied in her so-serious teacher voice.
I high-fived my son when we got home.

kentuckyliz said...

Lots of people are homeschooling and unschooling. It isn't just for religious wackos any more.

One of my fave fb friends (who I beg to adopt me) is an unschooling mom of a large family...atheist and hippie.

Her kids are pretty smart and they get along really well with adults.

kentuckyliz said...

Just more evidence showing how incredibly boring prison is.

wildswan said...

Homeschoolers have some insights on the issue of teaching boys and girls. They say you can't teach them the same way; you can't expect them to learn the same subjects at the same speed - particularly reading. The problem then is expecting a ten year old boy and girl to test the same - why should they? But in homeschooling you can allow for these differences - which smooth out over the years.

ken in sc said...

I am a retired teacher. Mostly I taught middle school and high school social studies. But for three years I taught Industrial Technology, because of my military experience. We had a state competition every year. Students competed at using hand tools, machine tools, milling machines, lathes, and grinders.

The most impressive student I ever met was a 9th grade home schooled girl at the state competition. She not only beat all the other students in the technical areas, she could carry on an adult conversation with teachers between events.

If I had any more kids, I would home school them.

Erika said...

It is absolutely true that some schools are eliminating recess. My kids were briefly enrolled in the best-ranked public elementary school in our city, and we learned very quickly it produces the highest test scores: no recess, two hours of homework a night, incredibly strict behavioral control (so much as jiggling a foot absentmindedly could get you a demerit) and drill, drill, drill. Also, every single staff member in the building with the exception of the janitor is a woman; both the principal and vice principal are unmarried, ambitious career educrats.

Once I realized what I was dealing with I grabbed the kids and ran for the hills. Especially with my youngest being a boy; my girls were unhappy enough, but it was like a special hell designed especially for little boys.

Erika said...

*very quickly how

Fernandinande said...

"At the same time, skills like persisting in tasks, paying attention, being organized, and adapting to changes in routine have real value in the world."

And yet boys learn more stuff. Perhaps those behaviors aren't as important as the teacherettes claim they are (any *other* data?)

If they want to grade on compliant behavior, they should have a separate grade(s) for behavior rather than letting the teacherettes self-serving perceptions influence academic grades.