Yesterday, ABCNews reported on a school district in Georgia going entirely to single-sex public schools. The move is being done supposedly to improve test scores and to prevent teen pregnancy. The decision has some parents upset, because they feel they had no choice in the matter. Putting stereo types aside, separating kids by gender does not help girls, it only helps them to fail. You can argue all you want about how boys are disruptive, or how girls are supposedly bad at math (something which is a stereo type in this country only!), but the truth is that this school district is running away from its problems instead of facing them head on. You do not combat teen pregnancy by putting girls in another school, you combat it by educating young people on the consequences of sex and how they can practice safe sex. This decision by adults, teaches boys that they do not have to compete with girls. Over time, the impact of this decision will be felt in the workplace, not in the school.
Every day I witness the problems of gender in the work place. Men find it difficult to communicate with women. There is an uneasiness in their interactions. Imagine if I had to work with an entire group of men who never competed with girls in school? The end result would be that women would be excluded from the major decisions and their salaries would end up reflecting that as well, or the exact opposite, which is that in order for women to be successful they would have to work three times as hard as the average male. Then there is the problem of men working for a female boss who is successful, most of these men would complain for one reason or another.
We do not need to reinvent the wheel. The economic history of this country shows that we are financially better off since women entered the workplace. As a country we compete better with women in the workforce, so why would this not be true in the classroom? I believe separating kids is sending the wrong message and letting adults off the hook for not facing up to their own responsibilities.