Same-sex classes popular as more public schools split up boys and girls

An estimated 500 public schools across the country now offer some all-boy and all-girl classrooms.

Robin Gilbert didn’t set out to confront gender stereotypes when she split up the boys and girls at her elementary school in rural southwestern Idaho.

But that’s exactly what happened, with her Middleton Heights Elementary now among dozens of public schools nationwide being targeted by the American Civil Liberties Union in a bitter struggle over whether single-sex education should be continued. Under pressure, same-sex classes have been dropped at schools from Missouri to Louisiana.

“It doesn’t frustrate me,” Gilbert said of the criticism, “but it makes the work harder.”…Read More

More public schools trying single-sex education

Separating boys and girls during instruction can minimize distractions, proponents say.

Single-sex education appears to be making a comeback, but with a new twist: A small but growing number of traditional public schools are experimenting with separate instruction for boys and girls to help meet each gender’s needs.

No longer is single-sex education defined only by all-girl or all-boy schools, in which the entire student body consists of just one gender. Other single-sex education models have emerged as well, such as the “dual academy” format, where boys and girls are in the same building but are separated all day except for special occasions; and the single-sex classroom model, which separates the sexes only for specific courses.

In some cases, these single-sex education programs are an attempt to combat lagging test scores, especially among male students. In March, the Center on Education Policy released a report of reading test scores showing that boys trailed girls in each of the more than 40 states that provided data. Separating boys and girls removes a potential source of distraction during class and can help them focus more on school, proponents say.…Read More