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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida boys getting better in reading



Florida boys are catching up with Florida girls in reading, according to a national report on gender gaps released this morning.

In 2002, 66 percent of fourth-grade boys were reading at a basic level or above, compared with 73 percent of fourth-grade girls -- a gap of 7 percentage points, according to the Center on Education Policy, which looked at gaps state by state. (In Florida's case, the analysis was based on FCAT data). By 2008, Florida boys were at 82 percent, just two points behind the girls.

Eighth-grade results also showed a narrowing of the gap for boys, while 10th-grade results didn't show much of a gap in 2002 or 2008.

The gender gaps in math in Florida haven't been as large, but boys still maintain a very slight edge in middle and high schools, the report shows.

Across the country, CEP found similar results with gaps narrowing for boys in reading but still a cause for concern. In some states, boys are 10 percentage points behind girls in reading proficiency.

"The college attendance and completion rate for males continues to decline," said CEP president Jack Jennings in a press release, "and these data strongly suggest that those patterns could be altered with a greater focus on male reading skills at the earliest stages of education."


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:54am]


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