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    More boys than girls getting into elite NYC public schools … this must not stand

    More boys than girls getting into elite NYC public schools … this must not stand

    Boys are getting destroyed at just about every level of the educational spectrum relative to girls, and are keeping away from liberal arts colleges like they’re running from the grim reaper (which is not that bad an analogy considering the hard core feminist agenda at most liberal arts colleges).

    But boys still rule math and the hard sciences, and that is an abomination in the eyes of the educational PC police, via NY Times, Girls Excel in the Classroom but Lag in Entry to 8 Elite Schools in the City:

    In the United States, girls have outshined boys in high school for years, amassing more A’s, earning more diplomas and gliding more readily into college, where they rack up more degrees — whether at the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels.

    STOP right there.  No one seems to be upset about boys falling behind.  But we continue …

    But that has not been the trend when it comes to one of the highest accomplishments a New York City student can achieve: winning a seat in one of the specialized high schools.

    At all eight of the schools that admit students based on an eighth-grade test, boys outnumber girls, sometimes emphatically.

    Boys make up nearly 60 percent of the largest and most renowned schools, Stuyvesant, the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Tech, and as much as 67 percent at the High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College, according to city statistics.


    The fact that girls are underrepresented in New York’s top high schools, which tend to be focused on math and science, and which have more than a dozen Nobel laureates among their alumni, worries some academics who see the schools as prime breeding grounds for future scientists and engineers.

    Cart before horse.  Cause and effect.  If a girl can’t get into Bronx High School of Science based on objective test scores, what’s the likelihood she’ll be a Nobel Laureate?

    To Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education policy group, the gap at the elite schools could be as elemental as their perception as havens for science, technology, engineering or math, making them a natural magnet for boys, just as girls might gravitate to schools known for humanities.

    “I don’t think you’re looking at discrimination here,” said Mr. Finn ….


    Math is hard.  And it doesn’t discriminate.  Get over it.


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    MaggotAtBroadAndWall | March 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Professor Mark Perry, one of my favorite bloggers who I’ve mentioned a few times, linked to the study below conducted by the Association for Psychological Science.

    According to the study, women who are qualified to enter STEM career fields often CHOOSE not to. It seems many qualified women just don’t want to be scientists. Without role models or even lacking a desire in high school to be scientists, maybe the girls who could get into a prestigious science high school just don’t bother because they are not into math and science.

      Radegunda in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | March 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      In school & university, I beat most (sometimes all) of the boys in math & science grades. I thought I should do something involving math or science because it seemed like the most serious and admirable way to employ my brain and effort. But then I realized it felt wrong; my heart wasn’t in it. Maybe it wasn’t girly enough. Anecdotal evidence suggests that my experience is not uncommon.

      Back then, I considered science and math careers to be open to me and never felt that anyone was trying to discourage me. That’s even more so today, and yet the bien pensants think they need to run ad campaigns telling girls that science and tech careers are a possibility for them — as if they somehow didn’t know. The bien pensants are actually trying to push and prod girls in a direction their natural inclination may not be pointing them.

    rubysue | March 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Hi, Professor Jacobson. I am a long-time lurker and love your blog. This topic compelled me to enroll to comment. I am a female engineer ((Electrical Engineering) who has been employed as a technical staff engineer for more than 32 years (space and launch vehicle business). During this time, I have witnessed so many efforts to get girls interested in math, science and engineering and have participated in countless STEM activities, many focused on girls only, and sometimes minority girls. When the girls are in elementary school (earlier than grade 6), most of them will enthusiastically raise their hands when asked if they like math and science. When they are a little older (middle school), only about half claim interest. By high school age, very few are interested. I blame social stigmas (excelling in math and science is still considered geeky and I was ostracized socially due to my interest), plus I do lend credence to the “bell curve” analyses that show lower aptitudes for the hard sciences for women (the thing that got Larry Summers fired from Harvard). After all these years and millions of dollars spent on these programs, the enrollment rates in engineering for girls have actually declined in many engineering fields. I agree with the commenters above – math is irreducible and will not yield to social engineering. If it is forced, we will all suffer the consequences.

      gs in reply to rubysue. | March 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      1. I blame social stigmas (excelling in math and science is still considered geeky and I was ostracized socially due to my interest), plus I do lend credence to the “bell curve” analyses that show lower aptitudes for the hard sciences for women (the thing that got Larry Summers fired from Harvard).

      Makes sense to me. We as a society may come to regret our efforts to substitute equal outcomes for equal opportunity.

      Or maybe we won’t regret it as we stumble cluelessly into a historical dead end or worse. Heaven forfend.

      2. Welcome, rubysue! Please share more of your thinking.

      Reminds me of cases where bright girls back in high school tried to “act dumb” because they thought that the men they were interested in would be intimidated by their intellect.

      One girl was actually encouraged to behave this way by her mother, made me sick to hear about.

      In truth, the intelligent and capable men that women find attractive are not intimidated by capable women, we find such women very attractive. Only a stupid many would be attracted to a stupid woman.

      Girls who are given the cold shoulder by their supposed peers shouldn’t feel too bad about it. Being ostracised by your inferiors is a good thing, you don’t have to put up with their vapid nonsense. Acting like a buffoon in order to fit in with buffoons makes about as much sense as trying to act like a monkey while walking through a jungle. Far better to step up your pace and leave the jungle behind.

      Milwaukee in reply to rubysue. | March 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      ” I blame social stigmas (excelling in math and science is still considered geeky and I was ostracized socially due to my interest)”

      That “social stigmatizing” thing goes both ways. I recall a study I saw not long ago where they showed young women pictures of two different computer labs. Actually, it was the same lab. In one there were empty Coke cans and obvious remains of pizza boxes. The other was tidy and decorated, without trash. The women generally preferred the tidier one, the one without the Coke cans and empty pizza boxes. Somehow it came out that the women didn’t like the engineering\computer programming\geek environment, not the mathematics. How or why the women came to dislike that environment wasn’t questioned, just that most women didn’t like it.

      If engineering and science and auto shops are a sort of environment most women don’t want to be in, we can’t force the issue.

      If a woman has the skills to succeed in those environments, she may very well have additional skills which will allow her to excel in other areas as well. Perhaps those women are just being successful somewhere else.

    Ragspierre | March 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    A famous (to me) incident in law school…

    In a “Psychology Of Communications” class taught by a PhD psychologist, he committed the sin of observing that men and women communicate differently (!).

    This prompted complaints from the 25 year old liberal arts graduates to the law school dean. This was heresy!

    Men’s and women’s brains are wired differently. Sorry. It is a really fine adaptation that makes us MORE adaptable as a species.

    The Collective will just have to get over it.

    serfer1962 | March 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Men & women are different!

    Shit! I knew that before I was a teenager!!!!

    gasper | March 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Margaret Sherwood wrote “Our Fear of Excellence” in 1928. This passage could apply today:

    “Even in institutions of higher learning, if I may so designate our colleges, the young are,as a rule, ashamed of intellectual distinction, concealing any unusual interest in things of the mind, feeling that they have disgraced their families if they win Phi Betta Kappa, biding artistic ability as if it were a sign of shame. There is certainly an idea abroad among us in America, and especially astir in the hearts of the young, that to see a bit farther, to hold one’s standard a bit higher than one’s fellows, is not being a good sport, as if some advantage were being taken in the great game. He who betrays finer appreciation or unusual insight is as one playing with marked cards.”

      Tortuga in reply to gasper. | March 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

      So that’s why nobody has ever heard of her. My son graduated at 16 as did two of his 3 best friends. The most disrespect he ever received was ” you lucky yada yada….” My two daughters dropped out of HS and did the ged thing, and the disrespect they received was, ” see ya”. All did some post HS learning and are above average now. Constant attention to and encouragement to excel wherever their current “status” is what made the difference, IMHO.

        gasper in reply to Tortuga. | March 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm

        I use a comment to make a broad statement and you narrow it to a personal experience. What I was thinking of was the high school who cancelled their awards ceremony so they wouldn’t offend the kids who didn’t receive awards, or playing games where there is no winner so no one ever loses. The Professor’s article essentially deals with that same issue. Liberals are making the rules, you can believe one of those rules is conservatives are at fault for those who don’t advance. Of course we’re proud of our and our children’s achievements, but the liberals are trying to even the playing field and make everyone an achiever, whether they deserve it or not.

          They’ve been trying to do this for over a century now. Once upon a time, they believed that universal education would make everyone equal. Instead it merely illuminated the inherent inequality of human beings.

          When human beings are judged and graded by objective criteria of achievement and performance, profound differences emerge. They discovered that education can’t fix broken people. Education doesn’t help the impaired, only the intelligent.

          So now of course, the leftards work tirelessly to undermine and eliminate objective standards of assessment, often under the completely irrational claim that such criteria are “racist.” I say this claim is irrational because it is not possible to craft a test of the mind that is influenced by the skin color of the test taker.

          Leftists are fools and liars, and the world will be a far better place if and when we find a way to rid ourselves of them.

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