Separate schools not equal but stupid

Jeff Lombardi and Jeff Lombardi

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We care more about our children’s test scores than we do about our actual children. It’s true, and you need to believe it before we can make it better.

In Toledo, there were two schools in what is called “academic emergency.” Academic emergency is a status under the No Child Left Behind Act, which means the school needs drastic improvement or risks closing altogether. It is the equivalent of an “F” on a report card.

So, to answer the call, the two schools split up their classes by gender. One school contains all girls, while the other school is all boys. Within each school are under 200 grade school children that receive the same education, or so it would seem.

There are a few problems with this. The first one is that, in regards to test scores, split gender school are very successful. The subjects that girls are typically stereotyped as being bad at during their formative years are the subjects that they are excelling in.

It is so successful that, not only have the schools’ academic status raised from an “F” to a “C,” but also education administrators in Michigan are thinking about implementing this idea.

The downside of the success rate is that, in comparison, the boys’ school is not doing as well as the girls’ school. The test scores are not as high as administrators thought they would be.

The reason for this lies in the fact that at a certain age, girls develop faster than boys. The schools are proving a few already well-known facts about genders. First, girls develop faster than boys at a certain age, and second, grade school has a funny way of making girls shy about themselves in subjects like math and science.

But by removing the other gender, the schools are supposedly fixing all of this.

However, these split schools prove that we care more about test scores than we do about the children’s actual development.

All of the improvements stated here have been purely from a standardized test score point of view.

There is more to a child’s education than just test scores and a school’s academic status, and the schools are neglecting this.

Yes, it is well known that boys get more attention in grade school and, thus, girls become shy and don’t do well in math, science and other areas.

So, is the solution to split the genders up?

No, the solution is to make sure the teachers pay as much attention to the girls as they do the boys.

So much of school is learning to deal with people you are not used to. Schools should ideally be a place where children learn about themselves, other people and other cultures. The children in the Toledo schools cannot learn about different cultures and different genders if they do not spend any time with the opposite sex.

Think about this for a second: The average school day lasts from about 7:30 a.m. to a little before 3:00 p.m. That is about seven hours each day in which children spend time in school. Multiply that by the school week, five days, and that’s about 35 hours a week. Furthermore, during an average school year, which is about 180 days long, children spend about 1260 hours in school. So, by the time that the children graduate from high school, children will have spent 15,120 hours in school with their peers.

Those 15,120 hours are incredibly important to children, because not only will they be learning about algebra, English literature and the history of a bunch of old, dead white guys, but they will also be learning how to deal with people of different ethnicities, races, socioeconomic classes and genders. By splitting up children by genders during some of the most important years of their lives, these schools are taking away valuable experiences from the children.

In present day America, dealing with people that are different from ourselves is something that we need to work on. But rather than help the cause, these schools in Toledo would rather fight against the rest of us.

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