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Debating Single-Sex Classrooms47:22
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With guest host Jane Clayson.

Boys and girls in separate classrooms. Numbers are rising in public schools. We’ll look at the trend and the  pushback.

In this file photo taken May 9, 2012, Dillon Elledge, 8, right, and Brody Kemble, 7, second from right, work with flash cards in their all-boys classroom at Middleton Heights Elementary in Middleton, Idaho. (AP)
In this file photo taken May 9, 2012, Dillon Elledge, 8, right, and Brody Kemble, 7, second from right, work with flash cards in their all-boys classroom at Middleton Heights Elementary in Middleton, Idaho. (AP)

More and more schools are looking at single-sex education as a fix to boost student performance.  The Department of Education just issued new guidelines this week.  Those in favor say that if Eric learns differently from Erica, let’s structure classrooms around their different learning styles.  But the ACLU says “no”.  That separating children by sex is comparable to separating children by race.  We’ll hear from the head of a single-sex school and from a principal of a school that abandoned single-sex education.  This hour, On Point:  boys, girls and the battle over single-sex education in public schools.
-- Jane Clayson

Guests

Sarah Sparks, assistant editor at Education Week.(@sarahdsparks)

Nakia Douglas, principal of the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy in Dallas, TX. (@nakiadouglas75)

Lise Eliot, associate professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University. Author, "Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps — And What We Can Do About It." (@lise_eliot)

Kathy Piechura-Couture, professor of education at Stetson University.

Synthia Taylor, principal of Marshall Middle School in Janesville, WI. (@love_detour)

From The Reading List

New York Times: Old Tactic Gets New Use: Public Schools Separate Girls and Boys — "The federal Education Department says there are about 750 public schools around the country with at least one single-sex class and 850 entirely single-sex public schools. Although government figures are not available for earlier years, the National Association for Single Sex Public Education estimated that in the 2004-05 school year, 122 public schools offered at least one single-sex class and 34 public schools served just one sex."

The Times Of London: Outrage as US schools return to same-sex classes --"A growing number of American schools have begun operating single-sex classrooms, offering tuition tailored to supposed differences between the developing brains of boys and girls. The practice provoked fierce complaints from some women’s rights advocates who say the schools are perpetuating gender stereotypes."

Education Forum: The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling — "In short, although excellent public SS schools clearly exist,
there is no empirical evidence that their success stems from their SS organization, as opposed to the quality of the student body, demanding curricula, and many other features also known to promote achievement at coeducational schools."

This program aired on December 3, 2014.

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