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Are Boys Making the Grade? Gender Gaps in Achievement and Attainment

Abstract

"After a generation of national panels, funding efforts, and policy interventions designed to remedy the problem of girls being shortchanged by the education system, a growing body of evidence suggests that the pendulum may be swinging in the other direction-that the practices of contemporary American schools may favor females at the expense of their male peers. ...Disparities between the genders exist to be sure, yet is the picture as one-sided as the media portray? ...The goal of this brief is to examine the gender gap in educational achievement and attainment, focusing specifically on students in Massachusetts. The primary question of this research is: What differences in enrollment and achievement exist between males and females in Massachusetts public schools? The research includes analysis of: MCAS4 achievement in math in grades 4, 8, and 10; MCAS achievement in English language arts (ELA) in grades 4, 7, and 10; Dropout rates; Special Education placement; and Enrollment changes between grade levels during high school."

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