The Truth About Boys and Girls

A new report confirms that the “boy crisis” in education is a myth.

A new report concludes that American boys aren’t in the academic peril many parents and media commentators fear. Long-term test data show that boys’ school performance is steady and that gender discrepancies in achievement are less significant than race and class discrepancies. Earlier this year, Ann Hulbert made the same argument, using much of the same data. She wrote, “Viewing school issues primarily through a gender lens has a way of encouraging a search for one-size-fits-all prescriptions for each sex. … [A]t the moment the most marked contrasts in educational performance and college attendance show up between races and social classes; minority and poor males lag furthest behind, especially in college attendance. … Gender equity may be the sexier goal to push for, but right now socioeconomic inequality is the greater obstacle to overcome.”