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Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A New Perspective

I spoke with a few of my friends about the previous post, and they brought up some interesting points that I had not considered. I think I'd like to revise my position slightly to incorporate some of their ideas.

The main issue that I had not considered is that single-sex schools would be a form of Affirmative Action. AA's main purpose is to promote diversity. The idealistic view is that a corporation who does not discriminate will have employees that are a proportional cross section of the diversity found in the available work force of particular fields. i.e. If 25% of the nation's sales managers are black then 25% of a given company's sales managers should be black.

The government enforces diversity by saying they will not do business with a company unless the above is true. A company must maintain a reasonable representation of the nation's work force from a diversity stand point. I agree with this philosophy because I can't think of a better way to ensure corporations are conscious of the racial problems in the U.S.

Single-sex schools do not promote diversity. They promote segregation which is why the concept gets my hackles up.

However, the evidence at hand says that girls do better at math and boys do better at literature in single-sex schools. It was argued last night that we should do everything we can to give everyone the best education, and I agree.

The evidence does not say that girls do better at literature in a single-sex environment. To me, this indicates that not all subjects benefit from single-sex education. Obviously boys are leaning math just fine in a co-ed environment. I also haven't read any complaints about co-ed band, art, social studies, political science etc.

Given that I think that single-sex schools promote segregation. Also given that only a few subjects benefit from single-sex education my new stance is thus:

Instead of creating a whole single-sex school, just create single-sex classes in the subjects where it has been proven to be effective such as math and literature. Keeping the schools co-ed allows for diverse conversation and interaction in social activities and those classes that benefit from a co-ed context. Creating single-sex classes allows for the most conducive environment in the specific areas where separation of sexes improves education.

It's win win.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good solution as it promotes the best environment specific to the goals. A significant part of education is socialization which means with ones own sex and with the opposite sex as well.

10/30/2006 12:31 PM  

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