School Systems Are Failing Males

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Courtesy of Emory Maiden (Flickr CC0 )

School systems seem to be failing boys and young men, according to a recent New York Times essay, “It’s Become Increasing Hard for Them to Feel Good About Themselves.” Thomas Edsall reviews many different research studies that layout how schools are failing male children.

This is not a new issue for boys; just seems to be a plight that is worsening. Many parents, educators, and children themselves are very unhappy to see this dilemma.

Statistics support the claim that males are falling dramatically behind in educational facilities. According to a 2018 Brooking Institution report, around 88 percent of female students were able to graduate on time. The same data indicated that only 82 percent of males were able to accomplish this feat.

Courtesy of Luke Jones (Flickr CC0)

The United States Department of Education figures around 43 percent of enrolled college students is male. The minority population faces this crisis more with only 40 percent Hispanic and 36 percent Black males having earned a bachelor’s degree.

However, this does not mean that colleges are failing males rather females are more likely to continue on to college. Only 44 percent of all college applications were from men in 2010. Unfortunately, this number has continued to decline throughout the years.

The decrease in male applicants is most likely due to the discouragement they faced in their prior schooling. For example, male students are more likely to hear “Stop fidgeting; Pay attention; Don’t touch that” more often than females in school.

It is also believed that the higher number of female to male ratio in educational staff may contribute to boys declining in their schooling. Some boys feel more comfortable speaking to a male figure rather than a female. Of course, this could mean that girls feel more comfortable speaking to female teachers.

Most of the research cites these declines could be due to a much larger issue. Systematically, many school systems stereotype boys by saying they have a higher tendency to misbehave in the classroom. This causes many teachers to over-punish male students.

According to a study conducted by The University of California Los Angeles, for every two male students receiving an out-of-school suspension, only one female was punished. The study also concluded that race also played a part in disciplinary actions.

For example, a Black student was more likely than a White student to be suspended. This information points out a serious source of inequality.

Many are hoping the inequality between races is quickly eradicated, however, this will take effort from everyone. They are also hopeful that boys will beat the stigma they have been facing in schools.

Written by Sheena Robertson


Columbia Political Review: Why are We Failing Our Sons? An Inquiry into the Education Gap that Plagues Young Boys in America Today; by Rosie Pipada

USA Today: Boys in crisis: Schools are failing young males. Here’s what needs to change in classrooms; by Christopher Brueningsen

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Emory Maiden’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Luke Jones’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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