Thursday, March 18, 2010

Are There Gender Differences in Achievement? Yes

The answer is Yes, especially for reading, according to the Center on Education Policy's latest study, which found that:

1. In math, there was no consistent gender gap in 2008. Rather, there was rough parity in the percentages of boys and girls reaching proficiency at all three grade levels. The percentages of boys and girls scoring proficient in math tended to be similar, with boys edging out girls slightly in some states and girls doing slightly better in other states. No state had a difference in math between boys and girls of more than 10 percentage points.

MP: Actually, the authors might want to check their math on this finding. If you look at the
results by state for math proficiency at the high school level, you'll see that the percent of males with math proficiency exceeded females in 26 states, which is more than double the number of states in which females outperformed males (12). For the other states, there were either no gender differences (7 states) or data weren't available (5 states).

2. In reading,
girls outperformed boys in 2008 at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Higher percentages of girls than boys scored at or above the proficient level on state reading tests at grade 4, grade 8, and high school; in some states, these gaps exceeded 10 percentage points.

MP: Actually, if you look at the
reading results here, you'll see that girls outperformed boys: a) in ALL states, and b) at EACH of the three levels (elementary, middle, and high school). In 30 different cases, the gender gaps in favor of females exceeded 10 percentage points!

From the conclusion:

"Consistent with other recent research, our analysis of state test results by gender suggests that the most pressing issue related to gender gaps is the lagging performance of boys in reading. In many states, the percentage proficient for girls is more than 10 points higher than the percentage proficient for boys. Researchers and state officials might investigate ways in which the school environment may be changed to better address the needs of boys."

MP: For some reason, and I could be wrong, but I just don't think this will get as much attention as the underrepresentation of women in engineering doctoral programs, even though this involves millions of boys in every state and at every level of education. And I doubt it will be described as "a persistent gender gap that is a national crisis and one that will prove to be deeply detrimental to America’s global competitiveness."

Am I wrong or too cynical?


At 3/18/2010 4:24 PM, Blogger Redbud said...

I deem you fair-minded, not cynical, for pointing out hypocrisy.

Best wishes from Kansas!

At 3/18/2010 4:27 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The article "How Do We Determine "Female Power?" The Economist explores women and the workplace" states:

When brute strength mattered more than brains, men had an inherent advantage. Now that brainpower has triumphed the two sexes are more evenly matched. The feminisation of the workforce has been driven by the relentless rise of the service sector (where women can compete as well as men) and the equally relentless decline of manufacturing (where they could not).

My comment: I talked a girl in undergrad econ into going into grad econ rather than law (I don't know if I really did her a favor). Few women out of 30 students were admitted into the grad econ program that year (perhaps, two?). Yet, she did very well and graduated with a high GPA (unlike 90% of the other students). So, perhaps, it's mostly a willingness of entering fields of study rather than ability.

At 3/18/2010 6:39 PM, Blogger RaplhCramden said...

Its not so much that you are wrong as that you present this as though there is some group in control that wants it this way. A better model is that the world is gigantically complex, filled with a broad range of things to think about and work on.

Do you believe someone writing a research proposal to drill down on that 10% difference would be sidetracked to a different review process than someone writing a proposal to look at women in engineering? It is you JOB writing that proposal to make it "sexy."

At 3/18/2010 7:29 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

Mr. Perry,

As a woman I want to tell you that you are so right on this issue but the PC crowd will never admit this.

At 3/18/2010 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women vote "women's issues", issues like "Women's Health and "Women's Rights".

Men do not vote "Men's Issues", but vote more based on what is best for the country, state or town.

Women are used as part of the Socialist political agenda, to divide-and-conquer. The Left has always divided people on race, economic status, sex, etc... the purpose of "Political Correctness", as coined in the former Soviet Union.

Unfortunately, boys and young men will suffer from lost opportunities, just as blacks and the poor have suffer from the divisions constructed by the Democrat Left in America.

At 3/18/2010 10:08 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Sex and the SUV
November 25, 2009

While there is little difference in the number of trips women and men take on a daily basis, women’s trips are shorter, are undertaken for different reasons, and are arranged in more complex patterns than men’s...male drivers averaged a 14.1 mile commute and women an 11.8 mile one. Males spent 23.5 minutes getting to work while females averaged only 21.1 minutes.

Fewer than five percent of “driver/sales workers” and truck drivers are women, and only about 13 percent of cab drivers and chauffeurs (are women) and woman are more likely to honk at woman drivers than male ones. And, perhaps surprisingly...households that identify themselves as “feminist,” the man does most of the driving when both partners are in the car.

At 3/19/2010 1:51 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, what an odd bit reporting/opinion writing:
Female power
Dec 30th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Obviously getting anything credible out of this article/opinion piece wasn't important: 'But there is evidence that America and Britain, the countries that combine high female employment with reluctance to involve the state in child care, serve their children especially poorly. A report by Unicef in 2007 on children in rich countries found that America and Britain had some of the lowest scores for “well-being”'...


Those frauds?!?!

'involve the state in child care'?!?!

Do we really need more federal interference with children?

I'm guessing Obama must love the Economist...

At 3/19/2010 2:12 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Putting half the country on welfare and the other half into slavery hasn't worked well in other countries.

Of course, it's time to redistribute the redistributions, because everything is going bankrupt.

At 3/26/2010 10:15 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> And, perhaps surprisingly...households that identify themselves as “feminist,” the man does most of the driving when both partners are in the car.

Less surprisingly than one might think. This is one of those "gender difference" issues.

1) Men do like to be in control. No dispute. Driving is certainly a form of exercised control.

2) Women have no problem with giving men the illusion of control while still insisting on maintaining it -- hence "backseat driver" syndrome is so closely associated with women.

3) That it IS an illusion for men is evinced by the fact that women kvetch endlessly about how men "never stop to ask for directions" -- if men are in control, then that's their decision and women would STFU about it. But that's not "really" the case. Women believe they are "in charge" -- men are just doing the "monkey work".

4) Final element: there's a reason why rich people have chauffeurs - having a driver frees you up from the mundane task of going from point A to point B, allowing you to think about other things having nothing to do with the "life-insignificant, but very important" process of driving. So, feminist or not, women are getting a benefit which otherwise only rich people get.


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