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Kids don’t learn better in single-sex classes—meta analysis

A new study (Pahlke, Hyde, & Allison, 2014) reports a meta-analysis of 184 studies representing 1.6 million students in K-12 across 21 nations, the Washington Post reports. The authors place considerable emphasis on the problem of control in this research. They end up concluding that, with proper controls, analyses show that single-sex classrooms don’t help students much. The challenge in this sort of work is that comparisons of single-sex and coed classrooms often do not use random assignment. Students (or parents) choose a single-sex classroom. So for this review, the authors distinguished between controlled experiments (the original study either used random assignment or made some attempt to measure and statistically account for associated variables) and uncontrolled studies…

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