ERIC Number: ED423210
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
The Myth That Schools Shortchange Girls: Social Science in the Service of Deception.
This paper examines the charges made in the highly publicized report, "How Schools Shortchange Girls," published by the American Association of University Women (1992). The paper shows how the findings in this report are based on a selective review of the research and how findings contrary to the report's message were suppressed. The paper reviews the best available information on a variety of measures to see how boys and girls fare in the schools. Such measures as school grades, class rank, honors and prizes in academic competitions, scores on standardized achievement tests, college entrance and graduation rates, and attainment of professional and doctoral degrees are considered. The paper questions the interpretations of much of the data and concludes that research on gender differences in class participation, school climate, and self-confidence provides a welter of conflicting findings, sometimes favoring girls, sometimes favoring boys, and sometimes showing no gender differences at all. The paper charges political propaganda was used in the findings that schools shortchange girls. The paper contends that such a "noble lie" (Plato) draws attention away from the group that schools actually do fail, that of African-American males, who fall far behind African-American females in educational success. The paper questions the distortion that masks the educational progress women have made and focuses on goals of raising self-esteem of teen-age girls, instead of goals of increasing performance of students on international tests in mathematics and science. (EH)
Descriptors: Credibility, Critical Theory, Criticism, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Females, Feminist Criticism, Propaganda, Womens Studies
Women's Freedom Network, 4410 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 179, Washington, DC 20016.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Women's Freedom Network, Washington, DC.
IES Cited: ED546207
Note: For the "How Schools Shortchange Girls" report, see ED 339 674. This report is based on the 1992 American Association of University Women's report, "How Schools Shortchange Girls."