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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

On boys and men



First, the boys.

Whitmire_photo_200 USA Today editorial writer Richard Whitmire (right), who's also president of the Education Writers Association, has launched a new blog aimed at tackling the issue of why boys seem to fare worse in school than girls do.

"After years of looking into the issue of why boys are falling behind in school I've reached this conclusion: The world is getting more verbal and boys aren't. As long as the verbal skills gender gaps expand, the higher education gender gap will expand as well," Whitmire told the Gradebook about the impetus for his site,

He explores the concept of gender gaps in posts, and also includes lots of links to studies, articles and editorials. As reading and literacy continue to dominate the center stage in education, both here in Florida and elsewhere, this topic of boys' inability to keep up with girls could grow in importance. How important? Florida does have a new law making it easier than ever for schools to separate boys from girls. Schools in Pinellas and Hernando already are moving down that path. Stay tuned.

Next, the men. Two of them, to be precise.

The National PTA, once known as the National Congress of Mothers, has its first male CEO and its first male president-elect, the AP reports. Education activists praised the appointment of CEO Byron Garrett, saying it sends a positive message to dads. "Fathers can be good (and) nurturing even though they are not the mothers," Chicago Teachers Union recording secretary Mary McGuire told the AP.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:47am]


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