Sunday, August 03, 2014

Professor Glenn Reynolds: Do We Need More Male Teachers In Public Schools to Address The Gender Imbalance?

USA Today reports:
Female teachers also give boys lower grades, according to research in Britain. Female teachers grade boys more harshly than girls, though, interestingly, male teachers are seen by girls as treating everyone the same regardless of gender. More and more, it's looking like schools are a hostile environment for boys.

One solution, as William Gormley, a professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, has suggested here in the past, is to hire more male teachers. As Gormley notes, Stanford University professor Thomas Dee found that "boys perform better when they have a male teacher, and girls perform better when they have a female teacher." Yet our K-12 teachers are overwhelmingly female -- only 2% of pre-K and kindergarten teachers are male and only 18% of elementary and middle-school teachers are.

As parents become more and more concerned about their children's futures and educations -- public schools that want to hold on to students or new-model schools that want to lure them away -- may want to boost the number of male teachers on staff. Doing so may be crucial not only to their students' futures, but to their own.

And if they don't, it may be time for state and federal officials to look into this gender imbalance. If schoolteachers were overwhelmingly male and girls were suffering as a result, there would be a national outcry and Title IX-style gender equity legislation would be touted. Why should we do less when boys are the ones suffering?
An article well worth your time.