Homeschooling: A Boy's Path to Learning English?
The Napa Valley Register has an interesting piece entitled, "What's to blame for differing test scores between the sexes?" Some experts blame low English scores on the brain development of boys (funny, when they blame brain development for the lack of girls in science, women faint and men get fired but I digress) but other experts such as educational consultant Joe Manthey say that schools are responsible:
Makes sense to me.
In an era of high stakes accountability for schools, educators are placing an ever-greater emphasis on raising test scores in English....
For school districts in Napa County, where Hispanic populations are large, this has meant a heightened focus on the needs of English learners, who typically bring down averages on standardized tests.
But while the ethnic gap dominates most discussions of Napa’s state and federal rankings, there is another set of contrasting scores that crosses all ethnic lines.
It’s the gender gap, and at a time when the state and federal government are pushing for improvement in English scores, boys are falling behind.
Educational consultant Joe Manthey, who led a workshop through the Napa County Office of Education about educating male students, cites the almost nonexistent gender gap for home-schooled students in English as proof that schools are part of the problem.
The reason that home-schooled boys score as well as their female counterparts in English is twofold, said Manthey. First, they are more likely to be given a choice in their reading material. Second, “they’re less likely to fall through the cracks,” he said.
Manthey’s research shows that boys are more inclined to read nonfiction than fiction, and are more likely to relate to subjects related to science, sports and stories that revolve around male characters.
“Then you see boys required to read books like ‘The Joy Luck Club,’” he said, referring to the book by Amy Tan about immigrant mothers and daughters.
It’s no wonder, said Manthey, that boys tune out in English class.
Makes sense to me.