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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-12-98

Same-Sex Classes Improve Girls’ Confidence But Not Test Scores

The American Association of University Women issued a report stating that girls-only math and science math classes did not improve test scores, but did improve girls’ confidence levels and attitudes towards science and math. Executive director of the AAUW Janice Weinman said, “We went in with an open mind, and what the research shows is that boys and girls both thrive when the elements of good education are there, elements like smaller classes, focused academic curriculum and gender-fair instruction.”

Teachers in California who took part in the same-sex class experiment said that the all-girl classes let the girls learn without “fear or ridicule.”

Critics of the study worry that without improved test scores, the all-girl classes will close. “Clearly this is an attempt to stop the public school single-sex experimentation ... And I think those experiments are a good thing,” said New York University research professor Diane Ravitch.

An earlier study released by the AAUW found that girls routinely fall behind in math and science skills and that female students often face discrimination by male students, teachers and in textbooks.

Media Resources: AP - March 12, 1998


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