Why the gender gap in achievement?

To the Adirondack Journal:

In June 23 issue of the Adirondack Journal, I saw a lovely photo of the proud top ten students of North Warren High School. Congratulations to the nine young women and one (yes, just one) young man.

I received a circular from the Warrensburg Central School District the other week. Here I find a photo of the top ten seniors: seven proud young women, three young men. The circular also showed a photo of the high school’s contingent to the National Senior Honor Society. Congratulations to the 13 young women and one young man, all high achievers.

Anyone perceive a trend here? Add up these groups and we find 29 girls, 5 boys. Whew! Talk about gender disparity!

Okay, maybe it is a small sample size but I have seen this trend over many years. Are boys not as smart as girls?

But wait: these honors are for achievement, not aptitude. Feel better? Not me. Strongly implied by these results is a culture of not trying, of “achievement isn’t cool” among our male students.

“Houston, we have a problem!”

Does anyone have any ideas of what to do?

William Sanders


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