Instead of tearing women down, lift boys up in public school

Ok, so this is a 2015 article.

But I get it. You’re upset.

I know other people feel this way. People who feel that anyone else striving for equality takes away their right as a person.

That catering and supporting women in STEM gives you a disadvantage.

So let’s talk about it., oh Brietbart writer.

You’re relying a single interview for most of your argument.

That women pretty much ‘waste’ an education in STEM. Therefore, that they shouldn’t allow as many to participate in STEM programs and consequently less women will be allowed to go on into the workplace in science and math -focused careers.

Yep, read the whole thing.

To start, quoting the same article where you said roughly half of students left STEM, here are some more facts:

“Attrition rates in non-STEM fields were as high as or higher than those in STEM fields. At the bachelor’s degree level, students in humanities, education, and health sciences had higher attrition rates (56−62 percent) than did those in STEM fields (48 percent), and students in business and social/behavioral sciences had comparable attrition rates (50 and 45 percent, respectively) as did students in STEM fields.”

So this mass exodus happens in other fields too. Books and time can be too expensive.

And for all of those studies saying women were preferred? That 2:1 ratio you so carefully highlighted for impact? Because when we’re mothers we’re better employees; studies say so!

Oh wait, we were talking about men suffering from bias.

Back to your point.

So what you’re saying – what I’m getting –  is that men are being failed by schools.

Let’s look at that a little.

Starting with DeVos, who frankly has an ulterior motive of bringing God to everyone. DeVos wants communities to be tied to churches – in a country like America where freedom of religion is a constitutional right; it just won’t work. It will segregate communities BY religion. She has said that being able to choose schools will reverse the schools being the center of the community.

It’s important in a country where freedom of religion AS A RIGHT is pertinent that schools remain the center of the community.

Let’s talk Detroit.

The plan to close Detroit schools after three years of being in the bottom 5% of schools is one of the plans she supported heartily – and I question, heartily.

School performance does not just depend on the administrators. It depends on learning disabilities, parental support, having enough food on the table… Ever tried to do homework with a growling stomach? Will those churches be able to fill that daily need for all of the community the way a school does? Nutritiously? Will they offer daily check-ins and support and counseling and special-needs education for life skills?

In Detroit they could close 38 school based on their performance the last three years. Another 35 are at risk for next year.

So where do those children go? If they close schools in the community, the community is fractured. Growing to be men who excel in college and beyond – depends on those schools staying open to serve their communities.

At my son’s school, a teacher has started a new club to deal with a troublesome group of boys after hearing none of them had father figures in their life. (With several top political figures on multiple divorces, this cannot be a judgement against them).

Recently, they had a firefighter come in to talk about his job and it ended with a discussion about how he had seen people die in his line of work and its OK for men to have emotions and show feelings.

If those kids were just lumped into another school, they would lose that relationship with the teacher who is striving to make them into men who would go into those math and science jobs you want. If they are thrown into a larger school system, you risk them rising up or pulling down the average of that school.

How does closing their old school improve their education options? You can’t quote that Ohio study because public schools weren’t closed for performance, just attendance numbers. Instead, I quote the conclusion of the American Federation of Teachers who published a report (PDF) citing several studies.

“This review of research, focusing specifically on school closure turnaround strategies rather than staff reconstitution models, shows that we cannot simply shut down schools in high-poverty neighborhoods, blaming teachers and principals for the failure, and then expect the low-performing students to enroll in a dramatically higher-performing school. The research shows a more likely outcome is that school closure imitates an inevitably continuous pattern of academically harmful displacement from school to school to school for children already disadvantaged.”

The American Federation of Teachers 2012 report cited many studies that showed just removing them from a bad school did not improve their education.

“A study of 44 schools that closed between 2001 and 2006 as part of Chicago’s Renaissance 2010 initiative by the Consortium on Chicago School Research (de la Torre and Gwynne, 2009) found that most students from closed schools transferred into schools that were academically weak. Only 6 percent of students transferred to schools that had test scores in the top quartile of the district, while 40 percent of displaced students enrolled in schools on academic probation and 42 percent enrolled in receiving schools with scores in the lowest quartile of the distribution of scores in the system. On average, the additional effects on their learning were neither positive nor negative. Further, the mere prospect of a school’s closure affected student achievement, with the largest negative impact on students’ reading and math scores occurring in the year before their schools were closed.”

Also – those other schools may not have enough resources to support the influx of new students that may have learning disabilities or special needs – will these choices insure that the support they need goes with them?

This research showed attendance and graduation rates dropping after students from schools closed for poor performance. You’re taking them father away from the community they know, and often just to another low-performing school. And probably not giving them the resources they need to catch up and be proficient.

Frankly, is this choice trying to actually WEED out bad students? The ones you need to fill those spots that you think women are too wimpy for?

How about – instead of supporting them in the early years and giving them a strong science-based education that will carry them into those college lecture halls you feel are so full of women – perhaps –  you begin at the bottom and let them work themselves up strong.

Signed, I went back to school in a STEM program and beat most of my classmates with a 4.0. With two children, a working husband and a part time job. You’re welcome.