Thursday, February 14, 2008

School district makes single-sex school mandatory

Folks in Greene County, Georgia, are furious at the school system's decision to implement mandatory single-sex education starting next school year.

With this move, Greene County is believed to be the only public school system in the country that requires single-sex schooling for every student. Elementary schools will have separate classes, but middle and high schools will be separate schools.

Surprisingly, Leonard Sax of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education is allied with opponents of the change. He said it's illegal because it makes single-gender schooling mandatory, not optional. Apparently, the law on single-sex education is a bit like what it's generally understood to be for another conservative gimmick - school uniforms - in that there has to be a way to opt out. Sax said Greene County's move to compulsory single-sex schools is "very embarrassing."

Greene County's switch to single-gender schools exempts a publicly funded charter school that has a very limited attendance zone. This charter school was itself criticized when it opened last year because its enrollment area created racial segregation. Most Greene County families can't attend this charter school because they live outside the attendance area.

If there isn't a lawsuit over this, I'll just bip.

Even though some data suggests that single-sex education creates better academics, this leaves out a key fact: Most single-gender schools in America today are exclusive preparatory academies that have much more resources.

So Greene County has made 2 mistakes: mandatory single-sex schooling and racial segregation. What's the third? A 6th-grade student was suspended for 2 days just for passing out fliers urging students to protest the change by wearing white t-shirts and jeans. Punishing someone for handing out fliers is a violation of the First Amendment right there. And if they punished students for actually wearing the jeans and t-shirts, that's a fourth mistake.

With all the illegal things the school system is doing, they sound like the school district where I grew up.


1 comment:

  1. I bet they already have uniforms. If they get so worked up over jeans and tees, they must.

    It seems like it usually is these out-of-the-way places that do...but I don't live in a rural area, so I'm biased.