Do Same-Sex High Schools Promote Educational Success?

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Do Same-Sex High Schools Promote Educational Success?
By
Kyle Neugebauer
3/11/2012

In this paper I am going to try to persuade you that same-sex high schools promote educational success. Single-sex education is an old approach that has recently gained new momentum. When we think about single-sex education, we tend to think just about private schools; however, there is a new push to create same-sex education in public schools as well. There are several arguments and statistics I will use throughout this essay to show you how same-sex education compares with co-educational atmospheres and why I believe that more states and schools should offer these learning atmospheres. I will also share the results of a survey I conducted that led me to think that public opinion is not on my side of the argument. Argument 1-Limiting Distractions

I believe that same-gender schooling would create a better learning environment by limiting distractions-especially sexual distraction. I am not naïve in believing that separating girls and boys would limit these distractions all together—I am only saying that it would limit them. For one, teen pregnancy rates are up and this is a major worry among government officials. I believe that if we free our children from the worries of impressing the opposite sex, boys and girls can focus on their books. "It's been proven that, without the interruption of the other sex, both do a better job of learning, says Audrey Lawson, founder of the Walter A. Lawson Institute for Prosperity and Peace, an all-boy charter middle school in Houston, Texas, that opened in September. They don't try to out-dress each other; they don't do as much tomfoolery,” (Vail, 2002). This is just one of many who believe that distractions can be a major roadblock to students’ educational advancement. Although this may not be what our children want, I believe that we owe it to them to look at the evidence when thinking about instituting more same-sex schools—especially high schools. “While there may also be some offsetting negative aspects of single-sex environments, such as an initial tendency towards "cliquishness" with one's own sex, the point is that single-sex atmospheres provide some students with substantial benefits which, they may feel, outweigh the drawbacks. One of these benefits is the removal of sexual and social tensions in the classroom,” (Caplice, 1994). Argument 2-Better Test Scores

My second argument is that most boys and girls who participate in same-gender education score better on standardized tests. A study was done in Florida where all relevant parameters were matched: the class sizes were all the same, the demographics were the same, all teachers had the same training in what works and what doesn't work. Here were there findings: “Boys in coed classes: 37% scored proficient, Girls in coed classes: 59% scored proficient, Girls in single-sex classes: 75% scored proficient, Boys in single-sex classes: 86% scored proficient,” (NASSPE, 2011). This is just one of many studies that show that test scores rise when boys and girls are separated in an educational setting. It has been said, on average that students in a same-sex environment test almost a grade higher than those from a co-educational environment. Another study shows similar results, “They assigned students at five public schools either to single-sex or to coed classrooms. 68 percent of boys who were assigned to single-sex classes subsequently passed a standardized test of language skills, vs. 33 percent of boys assigned to coed classes. Among the girls, 89 percent assigned to single-sex classes passed the test, vs. 48 percent of girls assigned to coed classes,” (NASSPE, 2011). Higher test scores can often lead to a better college which can lead to a better job and an overall better life for many. Students who graduate from these institutions are often more well-rounded and career-oriented.

Argument 3-Learning Differences
The third...
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