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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The problem with boys

The Star Tribune ran a pair of point, counter-point articles about "The Trouble with Boys". The first article talks about the American "Boy Crisis" and the other takes the boy crisis "myth" to task.

First let's take a look at a few basic statistics:

• Receive the majority of D and F grades, as high as 70 percent.
• Create 80 percent of classroom discipline problems.
• Account for 80 percent of high school dropouts.
Represent 70 percent of children diagnosed with learning disabilities and 80 percent of those diagnosed with behavioral disorders.
• Are an average of a year to a year-and-a-half behind girls in reading and writing skills.
Represent 80 percent of children on Ritalin or other meds used to treat ADHD.
• Make up less than 44 percent of America's college population.
Are diagnosed with a special education disability twice as much as girls; are suspended 2.5 times more than girls and are expelled at three times the rate of girls.

And yet according to the ladies who wrote the counter-point article, this is an "overblown backlash against the women's movement"! As the mother of a son, I would like to take these ladies to task for their complete and utter ignorance of what a boy goes through in our public schools and the hoops that an engaged parent (such as myself) has to go through just to get some help for his/her son. My son IS the prototypical boy - interested in sports, video games and TV. More likely to play with role playing games or wrestle with his dog than to read a book (much to his mother's chagrin - I love to read). We have gone from one teaching extreme (you are not allowed to leave your chair until your work is done) to another (as long as you get your work done before the end of the hour and don't disturb the class you can get up) and nothing seems to make that much of a difference. When we ask the school to work with us to help develop a scheme to help him enjoy reading more we are met with blank stares. When we had issues with a school bully it took 3 years of meeting with the principal and a "I hate school I never want to go back" self evaluation to finally get the school to do something about the situation. Prior to the "I hate school I never want to go back" self evaluation, the school kept using the same "just ignore it and it will go away" platitude that eventually lead to the Columbine massacre in Colorado 6 years ago!

No ladies, this is not an "overblown backlash". The women's rights movement swung the pendulum past equal treatment and is now over to "superior" treatment for girls. It is well past time to bring the pendulum back to equal treatment and leave it there.


Blogger Nordeaster said...

Well said!

I have a 17 year old son and a father who was a teacher and district department head for 30+ years. I couldn't agree more.

The feminization and socialist indoctrination (redundant?) of our public schools are two big reasons my son has been in private schools since the 5th grade.

9:30 PM  

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