Tag Archives: Independent Women’s Forum

New Friedman Report Highlights Why School Choice Benefits Teachers, Too

For some reason these last days of the school year have me busy. So I don’t have a lot of time to write — except that I wanted to point out something especially for teachers (who must be even busier than I am, I guess). A great new study released by the Friedman Foundation compares data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Schools & Staffing Survey and traces the attitudes of public school teachers vs. private school teachers on a whole host of issues. Out of the many results highlighted by co-authors Dr. Greg Forster and Christian D’Andrea, I wanted to bring your attention to a short few: Private school teachers are much more likely to say they will continue teaching as long as they are able (62 percent v. 44 percent), while public school teachers are much more likely to say they’ll leave teaching as soon as they are eligible for retirement (33 percent v. 12 percent) and that they would immediately leave teaching if a higher paying job were available (20 percent v. 12 percent)….


Let Parents Choose Single-Sex Classrooms … Who Needs Yucky Girls?

An interesting story from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette looks at an elementary school that has divided boys and girls into separate classrooms (H/T Joanne Jacobs): In a typical classroom, the boys are asked to sit calmly in desks, complete story problems and answer questions after raising their hands. But speed, enthusiasm and competition get the pupils in Long’s all-boys class motivated to learn and to participate, she said. Teachers at Monitor Elementary School in Springdale created classrooms segregated by sex as an experiment to allow teachers to adapt their strategies to each, Principal Maribel Childress said. The idea of sex-segregated classrooms has been catching on more and more in different parts of the country, though it’s still a fairly rare enough practice that it makes articles like this one of general interest. Like so many other things in education, separating boys and girls into different classrooms isn’t the be-all and end-all answer to our problems. (But it’s not a bad idea. Who needs yucky girls around, anyway?) One critic quoted in the story – New America Foundation senior research fellow Sara Mead – makes a great point: The variation among students within each sex is greater than the average differences between […]


Public Education Really Needs to Focus More on Helping Boys, Too

Some people just don’t want to believe that more boys than girls have a hard time in our education system. The really smart Jay Greene points out the problems with such a new report: The American Association of University Women released a report this week attempting to debunk concerns that have been raised about educational outcomes for boys. The AAUW report received significant press coverage, including articles in the WSJ and NYT. But the AAUW report simply debunks a strawman — er, I mean — strawperson…. Jay Greene goes on to explain how the AAUW report ignores the problem that boys are under-performing in our schools. Joanne Jacobs says the report is missing a big part of the point, too, and concludes: “Focusing more on the learning needs of boys isn’t necessarily bad for girls.” I still think girls are yucky, but Ms. Jacobs has a point. The authors of the AAUW report should have read what Independence Institute senior fellow Krista Kafer had to say last year for the Independent Women’s Forum. I agree with Krista: Parents know what’s best for their boys and their girls, and should be given more school choice to meet the unique needs of […]