His Side

Menstuff® has compiled the following from the radio program His Side with Glenn Sacks on KRLA 870 AM in Los Angeles and KKOL AM 1300 in Seattle on Sunday, September 14.

The Boy Crisis in Education--and What Can Be Done About It

Boys have fallen seriously behind girls at all K-12 levels. Girls get better grades than boys and boys are far more likely than girls to be held back, disciplined, suspended, or expelled. By high school the typical boy is a year and a half behind the typical girl in reading and writing, and is less likely to graduate high school, go to college, or graduate college than a typical girl. Boys are four times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as girls, and the vast majority of learning-disabled students are boys. Nearly nine million prescriptions of Ritalin are written for American children each year, most of them for boys between the ages of six and 12.

Educational consultants Bret Burkholder and Ed Leitner, founders of Boys' Hearts & Boys' Minds, explained what we need to do to make our schools more boy-friendly.

Bret and Ed discussed the fake "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" epidemic, and noted that we in fact do have an "Attention" problem--teachers and administrators are not paying attention to boys' educational needs, and are instead pushing Ritalin as a way to get boys to "behave" in a system which is not suited to them. They noted that research suggests that Ritalin has serious long term consequences for children, including stunting their physical and mental growth.

They also detailed boys' learning modalities and stressed that teachers need to rework their lessons and methods to incorporate them. They pointed out that boys often act out because the schools are not meeting their needs and that teachers need to learn to look behind the misbehavior and try to see its underlying causes. They noted that part of the problem is that much of school's reading material is becoming increasingly female-oriented and unappealing to boys' tastes.

Glenn commented that if 93% of our teachers in elementary school were male and 95% of those students being punished and drugged for mythical "behavior disorders" were female, this problem would have been solved a long time ago. He also lamented the lack of male teachers in our elementary schools, commenting "my son just entered middle school and it is the first time he has had a male anything--teacher, administrator, principal, anything. At his last school the only men there were the janitors."

Callers included: Michelle, who explained that she had three children of equal intelligence and talents--two sons who dropped out of school, and a daughter who graduated with Honors and went to a prestigious university; Hall, a Los Angels elementary school teacher who said that she had never been trained to deal with boys' learning modalities; and David, who wondered about the double whammy facing many boys who grow up without fathers and then go to schools which have no male authority figures.

To learn more about the boy crisis in education, see Glenn's columns "The 'Boy Parent Dilemma'" (Los Angeles Daily News, 9/6/02, Pasadena Star-News &Affiliated Papers, 9/12/02), "Boys: The New Underclass in American Schools" (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 4/15/02), "Why Males Don't Go to College" (She Thinks, 11/13/02), and Mysterious Decline-Where Are the Men on Campus?.

For a more in-depth treatment of the subject, see Christina Hoff Sommers' "The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming our Young Men" and "Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women" (p. 137-152).

To read Glenn's columns about problems in the education system in general, see "Why I'm no Longer a Teacher" (Los Angeles Daily News, 5/27/01) and "The Teachers' ‘Code of Silence' " (Los Angeles Daily News, 12/2/01). The latter was reprinted in nationally syndicated radio talk show host Larry Elder's Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests That Divide America.
Source: His Side with Glenn Sacks is a nationally syndicated men’s and fathers’ issues radio talk show hosted by columnist and commentator Glenn Sacks on KRLA 870 AM in Los Angeles and KKOL AM 1300 in Seattle/Tacoma at 11 PM every Sunday evening. To listen to the show, go to His Side Archive Also, Abuse Your Illusions: The Disinformation Guide to Media Mirages and Establishment Lies, May, 2003. Co-authored with Phil Cook

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