Male Teacher? Female Teacher? Boys Really Need School Choice

You can write about education issues a lot, have your eyes focused on the future, and still miss some of the debates that are going on out there. Washington Post blogger Valerie Strauss says that schools need to hire more male teachers, especially in the early grades, for the sake of boys. Citing Richard Whitmire’s book Why Boys Fail, blogress extraordinaire Joanne Jacobs responds: “Boys can learn without male teachers.”

While I don’t have much to add to the debate, I at least have a vested interest in the discussion. As a boy, I want a smart and caring teacher who keeps the standards high and doesn’t let me get away with nonsense. (Someone who believes in homework quality over quantity, and has a soft spot for Legos and Mr. Potatohead, would also be appreciated.)

More important for troubled boys than whether their teacher is male or female is expanded opportunity for an excellent education through school choice. That’s what Independence Institute senior fellow Krista Kafer persuasively argued for in “The Boy Crisis in Education” (an Independent Women’s Forum publication), and that’s what I’m sticking with.