As recently as five years ago, only about a dozen public schools offered even one program or class that was all-boy or all-girl. Today, over 360 public schools do, at least 80 of which are entirely all-boy or all-girl schools.
This growth in single-sex programs and schools exploded only during the past two years. Title IX regulations were modified in 2006 to allow voluntary single-sex programs.This rapid movement toward single-sex education is not coming from Republican or conservative areas. The demand for separating boys and girls is coming from the inner-cities of places like New Orleans.
The Louisiana state board of education this year approved two new single-sex public schools in New Orleans: the Miller-McCoy Academy for Mathematics and Business and the American Scholars Academy. The founder of the latter, Natasha Baker, was frustrated at the unusually high percentage of boys who were suspended for misconduct or put in special-education classes.
Feminists are howling in protest against this growing trend toward single-sex public education. Ever since the 1960s, they've been demanding that boys and girls, and men and women, be treated exactly the same based on feminist theory that there are no gender differences.
"Without anyone batting an eye, we are re-segregating schools based on gender," complained Rosalind Barnett of Brandeis University. "If for a minute people talked about re-segregating on race, people would be up in arms."
But gender is not like race, and the huge demand for single-sex programs shows that parents know they are effective. Don't expect Hillary Clinton to protest something so popular, particularly among blacks, and it is doubtful that the Obama administration will dare to stop this trend.
Even the liberal Boston Globe recently endorsed legislation to remove state laws that prevent Massachusetts from joining the rush to single-sex programs and schools.
Kerry Brennan, headmaster at the all-boys Roxbury Latin School (founded in 1645) observed that "it is well known that boys and girls develop differently and at different rates." It's a good thing he doesn't work at Harvard, where the feminists ousted President Larry Summers for a similar type of comment.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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