Why Boys Fail

Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind

 Why Boys Fail

Author: Richard Whitmire
Pub Date: September 2011
Print Edition: $15.95
Print ISBN: 9780814420171
Page Count: 256
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814420362

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Hard Numbers and Alarming Facts about Boys

• Nationwide, nearly twice as many boys as girls repeat a grade.

• In preschool, boys are four and a half times more likely to get expelled than girls. In the K-12 years, boys are twice as likely to get suspended and three times more likely to get expelled.

• On federal writing tests for 12th graders, more than a quarter of males score “below basic,” compared to 11 percent of females. In reading, a third of male students fall below basic, compared to 22 percent of females. Only 29 percent of male high school seniors are reading at the proficient and advanced levels, compared to 41 percent of females.

• The grade advantage long held by girls appears to be broadening. In 1990, both girls and boys had “C” grade-point averages, according to the Education Department’s High School Transcripts Study. By 2005, the gap widened to a “B” for girls and a “C+” for boys. According to the Higher Education Research Institute’s 2007 survey of college freshmen, 28 percent of women report a high school grade point average of “A” or “A+,” compared to 21 percent of men.

• Twice as many girls as boys were members of the National Honor Society in 2007. From 2006 through 2008, all the first place winners of the Intel Science Search were female.

• 54 percent of female high school sophomores are enrolled in a college-preparatory curriculum, compared to 48 percent of males.

• Overall, only 65 percent of our nation’s boys graduate from high school, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s most recent “national report card,” released in the spring of 2009.

• In the arena of higher education, a wide gender gap has opened up for students of all races. Among whites, women earn 62 percent of associate degrees, nearly 58 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 62 percent of master’s degrees, and 54 percent of doctoral degrees. Among blacks, women earn 61 percent of associate degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 72 percent of master’s degrees, and 64 percent of doctoral degrees.

• Young boys, ages 10 to 14, are twice as likely as young girls to commit suicide; young men, ages 20 to 24, are six times as likely.

• Among high school seniors, 23 percent of white males from college-educated families score “below basic” on federal reading tests, compared to 7 percent of females.

Adapted from WHY BOYS FAIL: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That’s Leaving Them Behind by Richard Whitmire (AMACOM 2010).

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