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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Keep politics out of the classrooms

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Increasingly, public education is coming under fire these days. You can blame that on a variety of reasons - some valid and some just dead wrong. But one alternative that is being supported by the Bush administration is single-sex classrooms or single-sex public schools. Only 11 of these experimental models are currently dotted across the nation but it appears the numbers may be increasing.

For women and minorities, these schools have found some interesting success. It's far too early to say with certainty that test scores are higher. But discipline is much easier in these schools and though it's doubtful that the single-sex classroom will dominate our public education, it's at least an idea worth watching.

Despite these early successes, the National Organization of Women and the ever-popular American Civil Liberties Union have already voiced their opposition to these education models. It's clearly politically incorrect for some to believe that segregation by sex may actually benefit the educational process. And thus, with little statistical data yet available, the liberal arms of society are already crying foul.

I know this isn't right but if the ACLU and NOW are opposed to something, I find myself supporting that issue almost without exception. You're known by the company you keep, I guess. And I have no desire to share opinions with these extremists of the left.

I know nothing about single-sex schools and whether they are good or not. But I'm willing to try whatever education experts believe might solve a problem. And this after all is just one minor concept that seems to be working in some areas.

Public education will be the primary focus in the decades to come. We are drifting toward private and parochial schools in lieu of public education to avoid the discipline problems and the "dumbing down" of far too many aspects of our education in this nation. That trend will increase. Mark my word.

Single-sex classroom may indeed not be the wave of the future. But to condemn these approaches because they run against your political agenda is an insult to education and a disservice to our children.

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