In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 5, 2006 / 9 Tamuz, 5766

Tweaking the boy crisis

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | America's "boy crisis" has been canceled.

It was all hype, we're now told by Education Sector, a nonpartisan education research group.

In a new study titled "The Truth About Boys and Girls," researcher Sara Mead concludes that the failing-boys mantra was politically motivated hooey advanced by anti-feminist pundits and others who cherry-picked data to advance their own ideological agendas.

Boys aren't so much in crisis, says Mead, who analyzed data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. They're just not doing very well. That is, middle- and upper-class white boys generally are doing fine, while blacks, Hispanics and the poor (some of whom surely are white) are doing badly to terribly.

We have a class and race problem, in other words, not a boy problem. Maybe.

Mead seems most concerned that education funds might be misdirected in response to recent noises that school programs are unfriendly to males and that teaching styles should be adjusted to accommodate brain differences — and, hence, learning styles — in males and females.

The study, though filled with intriguing information — not much of which undermines the case of males-doing-badly — seems mostly aimed at halting trends away from policies that were put in place to advance girls. Mead makes clear that any disagreement with her conclusions constitutes Neanderthal "hysteria."

"While most of society has finally embraced the idea of equality for women," she writes, "the idea that women might actually surpass men in some areas (even as they remain behind in others) seems hard for many people to swallow."

Fine. Let's call a truce for the moment on who is or isn't politically motivated, and take a look at the data. It is apparently true that boys do pretty well in elementary and middle school but tend to go wobbly in high school and college.

We may need to give social scientists a few more decades to pin down possible reasons for that, but I'm willing to bet my two cents on a combination of testosterone and a lack of disciplined guidance from fathers. A subject worthy of research not addressed in this study might be the correlation between poor academic performance among these same black, Hispanic and impoverished boys and the absence of fathers in the home.

Meanwhile, here are some of the statistics that say "not a crisis," just "not that great."

Only 65 percent of boys who start high school graduate four years later, compared with 72 percent of girls; 42 percent of boys are suspended from school at least once before age 17, compared with 24 percent of girls. (This is the most alarming statistic in the Mead study and deserves a closer look.)

Elementary-school boys are more likely than girls to be held back a year, while high school boys' achievement is declining in most subjects (although it may be improving in math).

A "substantial" percentage of boys are diagnosed with disabilities, while boys comprise two-thirds of special education students, as well as 80 percent of those diagnosed with emotional disturbances or autism. Boys also are two and a half times as likely as girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Mead notes that while these are troubling statistics, they don't tell the whole story. With what seems like relief, she adds that the number of girls with disabilities is growing, so it's not just a "boy issue."

She finds further consolation in the fact that though boys are not doing as well as girls in many categories, overall academic achievement and attainment for boys is higher than it's ever been. And, "while academic performance for minority boys is often shockingly low, it's not getting worse." Phew.

In fairness, Mead may be right that the "crisis" rhetoric has served its useful purpose. Nevertheless, defining "crisis" down doesn't alter the fact that girls are doing better, while boys (except for the luckiest white boys) are lagging. However you cut it, degrees of bad are still bad.

Moreover, the declining status of boys — or the ascent of girls, if you prefer — is at least in part the product of political pressures that led to policy changes and cultural adjustments that have benefited girls. No one wishes to take away those accomplishments or to turn back the clock on girls.

That we might wish to exercise the same political clout in the interest of our sons and our nation's future fathers isn't a symptom of political one-upmanship, but a necessary search for balance.

No matter how much we tweak the data, one reliable truth is that successful women will always want to meet and mate with successful men. At this rate, they will be hard-pressed to find them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2005, Tribune Media Services