Same sex school debate lingers

 

Carolyn Laporte

 

Imagine this: you’re walking down the hallways during passing period and everyone is the same sex as you are. There are no couples holding hands or hanging out by the lockers, your best guy friend or girl friend isn’t there to say hi to you before they head off to their next class. Everyone is the same sex as you because the opposite sex all goes to the school across the county.

This is what it would be like if the American Civil Liberties Union (or ACLU) of Maryland got their way and made all school same-sex.

According to a recent article in The Baltimore Sun written by Christopher B. Summers, “Children…would better succeed academically and socially if they were free of the distractions and challenges of chaotic urban schools.” A 2009 ACLU study showed that the graduates of an all-girl school “were more confident and outperformed their co-ed education female peers in math and public speaking.”

However, this was not found to be true for everyone as an opponent of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that “small or no difference in achievements for girls.”

The Sun article stated while some parents enjoy the thought of isolating their children from the opposite sex, others would prefer that their children were exposed to the opposite sex.

There are various pros and cons to students in single-sex schools, as identified by greatschools.org. Some of the cons include the fact that the real world is co-ed, and that those students in single-sex schools are limited when it comes to “their opportunity to work cooperatively and co-exist successfully with members of the opposite sex.” There are also limited amount of teachers trained for gender-specific schools, and “gender differences in learning aren’t the same across the board.”

However, people who advocate for single-sex public schools argue that students of the opposite sex can be a distraction, and single-sex education can broaden the “educational prospects for both girls and boys,” and those students in single-sex classrooms tend to do better than their peers because their teachers “use techniques geared toward the gender of their students.”

The Baltimore Sun stated that students do better when they are separated. According to The Sun, the UCLA stated that the girls who graduated from an all-girls school were more confident and “outperformed their co-ed educated peers in math and public speaking.” This was found in a study which was done in 2009.

Of course this was only one study. The ACLU completed other studies that showed “small or no difference in achievement for girls.”

With the inconsistencies in the findings of these studies, schools in Maryland should not be forced to become gender specific. Taking the choice away from parents to decide where their children should go to school is like taking away their rights. Co-ed schools offer more learning experiences and get their students ready for the real world.