I welcome Rochelle Riling's contribution to this conversation.
As a technical assistance provider in educational equity, mainly in the
area of gender, I have received over the past few years an overwhelming
number of requests for assistance and information on the issue of
harassment. The next area that my center works on is overrepresentation of
boys, particularly African American boys, in special education, plus the
other side of that particular coin, the underrepresentation of African
American and Hispanic students, both female and male, in advanced courses
and Gifted and Talented programs. School climate is another complex topic
that we address for majority and minority students, girls and boys.
By contrast, in the past year, I have had two enquiries into the balanced
provision of female and male athletics teams at the high school level. So
in my view, athletics is generally of lesser concern to k-12
administrators, students and parents.
What is of great concern is that children should have access to the
educational programs they need, wish to study and are entitled to with
equitable resources in a school climate that is welcoming, encouraging,
productive and safe.
And yes, from England in particular, I have heard of lack of achievement
and motivation from boys as a whole, referred to as "laddish" behaviour.
Knowing that the two educational systems are different, I am not sure how
much research from England would be applicable here in the US, but some is
useful, pointing out areas for further research.
And yes, we are beginning to hear more about the differential in learning
and achievement in the elementary years between girls and boys.
I do know one thing - educational equity, including gender equity, is
becoming more complex as time goes by, not less.
Thilda Coyman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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