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by Hilary White

For decades we’ve listened to teachers and ‘academics’
shedding crocodile tears as they bemoan the terrible ‘failure’ of the boys in their classes falling behind girls.

Now a five year University study has shown why.

Those same teachers are just deliberately marking boys down – even when they do better in tests and exams than their female counterparts.

A five-year research project, funded by the Departments of Education and Justice in Northern Ireland, found “systemic flaws” in teaching techniques led to teachers discriminating overtly against male students.

The shocking survey blows the lid on how since the 1970s, when feminist critics complained that the school system favored “male thinking,” grades have been decided not by performance and knowledge, but on a teachers whim.

Feminists condemned intelligence and knowledge as ‘too masculine’. And they argued successfully that pupils should be marked on ’emotional intelligence’ (a phrase which means nothing, and so is entirely subjective), and social skills (which means being nice).

Facts, dates, rote learning, and maths skills went out of the window and “fair” teaching styles were introduced in which no matter what a pupils test results, what the teacher thought of them held sway.

As a result mainly female teachers have been expressing low views of their boys students and favouring girls.

They discriminate against blacks and hispanics in the US, while in Ireland where the survey found boys from rough areas of Belfast were particularly looked down on, and so marked down.

Dr. Ken Harland and Sam McCready from the University of Ulster said that the problem of apparent boys underachievement at school has been clear for “several decades.”

But they said “it was extremely difficult for the research team to find specific strategies addressing boys’ underachievement.”

“Although teachers who were interviewed as part of this study recognised the predominance of boys with lower academic achievement, they generally did not take this into account in terms of learning styles or teaching approaches,” Dr Harland said.

The Belfast Telegraph quoted one pupil who told the researchers, “Teachers should understand better the way boys think and why they do some things. They’re out of touch.”

The problem of boys’ underachievement in primary and secondary school follows them into their later lives.

Research from 2006 has tracked the decline in male academic performance over the same period as the rise of feminist-dominated ideologies in academia and policymaking.

Radical feminism was first embraced as an actual political policy in the United States.

In the US the ratio of males to females graduating from a four-year college stood at 1.60 in 1960, fell to parity by 1980, and continued its decline until by 2003, there were 135 females for every 100 males who graduated from a four-year college.

Another study found that half of the current gender gap in college attendance can be linked to lower rates of high-school graduation among males, particularly for young black men.

The work of one American researcher may offer clues to the question of why and how.

Professor Christopher Cornwell at the University of Georgia has found that a heavily feminist-driven education paradigm systematically favours girls and disadvantages boys from their first days in school.

Examining student test scores and grades of children in kindergarten through fifth grade, Cornwell found that boys in all racial categories are not being “commensurately graded by their teachers” in any subject “as their test scores would predict.”

The answer, Cornwell found, lies in the way teachers, who are statistically mostly women, evaluate students without reference to objective test scores.

Boys are regularly graded well below their actual academic performance.

The expert discovered that boys are falling significantly behind in grades, “despite performing as least as well as girls on math tests, and significantly better on science tests.”

After fifth grade it’s almost completely up to the teachers personal opinion whether a student passes or fails.

Cromwell says student assessment becomes a matter of “a teacher’s subjective assessment of the student’s performance,” and is further removed from the guidance of objective test results.

Teachers, he says, tend to assess students on non-cognitive, “socio-emotional skills.”

This has had a significant impact on boys’ later achievement because, while objective test scores are important, it is teacher-assigned grades that determine a child’s future with class placement, high school graduation and college admissibility.

It’s entirely to blame for the supposed ‘failure’ of boys, which teachers regularly speak of and bemoan, but never seem to want to do anything about.

Eliminating the factor of “non-cognitive skills…almost eliminates the estimated gender gap in reading grades,” Cornwell found.

He said he found it “surprising” that although boys out-perform girls on math and science test scores, girls out-perform boys on teacher-assigned grades.

In science and general knowledge, as in math skills, the data showed that kindergarten and first grade white boys’ grades “are lower by 0.11 and 0.06 standard deviations, even though their test scores are higher.”

This disparity continues and grows through to the fifth grade, with white boys and girls being graded similarly, “but the disparity between their test performance and teacher assessment grows.”

The disparity between the sexes in school achievement also far outstrips the disparity between ethnicities.

Cornwell notes that “the girl-boy gap in reading grades is over 300 percent larger than the white-black reading gap,” and boy-girl gap is about 40 percent larger than the white-black grade gaps.

“From kindergarten to fifth grade,” he found, “the top half of the test-score distribution” among whites is increasingly populated by boys, “while the grade distribution provides no corresponding evidence that boys are out-performing girls”.

These disparities are “even sharper for black and Hispanic children” with the “misalignment of grades with test scores steadily increases as black and Hispanic students advance in school.”

The study, he said, shows that “teachers’ assessments are not aligned with test-score data, with greater gender disparities in appearing in grading than testing outcomes”. And the “gender disparity” always favours girls.

The American thinker Christina Hoff Sommers wrote that “the idea that schools and society grind girls down has given rise to an array of laws and policies intended to curtail the advantage boys have and to redress the harm done to girls.”

Sommers wrote in The Atlantic,“These are things everyone is presumed to know. But they are not true.”

She notes an incident at New York’s tony Scarsdale High School in which, at a conference on student achievement, a male student presented evidence from the school’s own records showing that far from being pressed down, girls were far outstripping boys.

When the teachers checked the student’s data, “they found little or no difference in the grades of boys and girls in advanced-placement social-studies classes. But in standard classes the girls were doing a lot better.”

The revelations, she said, were not well received. Scarsdale is a school that has thoroughly accepted the received wisdom that that girls are systematically deprived, and this belief has led their gender-equity committee to offer a special senior elective on gender equity that continues to preach the message.

“Why has that belief persisted, enshrined in law, encoded in governmental and school policies, despite overwhelming evidence against it?”

Sommers traces it back to the work of one academic feminist, Carol Gilligan, a pioneer of “gender studies” at Harvard University.

Gilligan’s speculations launched a veritable industry of feminist writers, citing little or no reviewable data, lamenting the plight of girls “drowning or disappearing” in the “sea of Western culture”

“Most of Gilligan’s published research, however,” Sommers points out, “consists of anecdotes based on a small number of interviews.”

Sommers has identified the work of Gilligan and her followers as “politics dressed up as science” and points out that she has never released any of the data supporting her main theses.

Nevertheless, the idea that girls are lagging behind boys continues to lead the discussion at nearly every level of public policy on education, and not only in the U.S.

The global reach of American left-wing feminism has led to similar changes, and similar outcomes, in nearly every Western nation.

Posted by on May 5, 2014. Filed under POLITICS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


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  4. CitymanMichael

    May 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    In UK, around 11% of primary school teachers are men.

    Boys have few good role models – and now this.

    Any wonder boys are failing in society.

  5. Za

    May 6, 2014 at 2:39 am

    This makes my blood boil.

  6. Za

    May 6, 2014 at 2:43 am

    It is arguably true that women have a tendency to write and talk, more that men.

    So, instead of penalizing it, what if students were given more points if they write more words in examinations? Even if they are irrelevant?

    Obviously, such a tactic would result in women having the advantage and consequently scoring higher than men, because men usually write to the point, and not much more than what is required.

    What if this is already happening??

    Here –

    In March 2004, Les Perelman analyzed 15 scored sample essays contained in the College Board’s ScoreWrite book along with 30 other training samples and found that in over 90% of cases, the essay’s score could be predicted from simply counting the number of words in the essay.[15] Two years later, Perelman trained high school seniors to write essays that made little sense but contained infrequently used words such as “plethora” and “myriad”. All of the students received scores of “10″ or better, which placed the essays in the 92nd percentile or higher

    wikipedia. org/wiki/SAT_Reasoning_Test#Writing

    insidehighered. com/news/2007/03/26/writing#sthash.utarzcAO.dpbs

  7. Joe Wilson

    May 6, 2014 at 5:31 am

    What’s happening here is nothing new. It’s happening in all Western countries. Boys continue to lag behind girls and the gap is widening. It’s been like that for two decades. The question I have is how bad does it have to get before government actually can’t avoid the issue? If the tables were reversed and it was girls who were lagging behind things would be much different….there would be outpouring of concern….government would be allocating large funds at the issue…there would be special committees formed. Why does it have to be any different because they are boys.

  8. John Rew

    May 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I went to school in the sixties and seventies in England and Australia and the teaching styles have always favoured girls particularly in primary school where neatness of work was valued above content it was nearly always a girl who had the top marks in the class. I never could understand the claim that girls were being disadvantaged.

  9. plasmacutter

    May 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Let’s not gender-polarize this issue.

    The fact boys are subject to about 0.2 grade point average of discrimination is secondary to the fact that the lack of objective grading criteria means grade inflation and grades which have little reflection on one’s preparation for college or the greater world.

    It should be disturbing to anyone that there are no longer ties between grades given and actual academic performance, and in such an environment it’s arguably to their benefit that boys’ grades are, however slightly, consistently lower.

    I know I’d much rather have the pessimistic end of a BS assessment than an optimistic one.

    Presenting this disturbing development as a gender issue, though, is adding division which shouldn’t be there.

    Every good parent would want to make sure their children’s grades reflect their actual performance, otherwise they’re not being prepared for the real world — unless, of course, they’re politicians or CEO.s (BOOM! Had to put that dig in there!)

  10. Rowan

    May 7, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    This is very very serious…. Why aren’t the relevant government authorities not acting on this? Why isn’t it being brought up during parliament?? Surely it cannot purely be some ‘feminist agenda’ to disenfranchise boys from an education….


    May 8, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Seems to me white women have pressed the self-destruct button on their own race.


    May 8, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Feminist level playing field.


    May 8, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Another good reason not to send your boy to a government school.

  14. Oscar Calme

    May 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Hey Plasmacutter which part of boys being marked down do you think is not a “gendered bias”. The point about grade inflation is a red herring as this effects both sexes equally. I think that you are a feminist who is trying to obfuscate the issue be deflecting the demonstrated bias by complaining about grade inflation. You discuss this in terms of a 0.2 grade point average. When this was reported on in the Independent it was stated as 3% so please do not try to minimise the issue. This issue is quite simply adult women discriminating against young boys to the benefit of the girls. If you doubt this calculate how many more boys will “fail” the exams. My rough calculation is 5% or more.

    The answer to this can be arrived by reversing the genders and assuming that men are marking women down. The call would be for more female teachers. In this case the call should be for more male teachers. The in group bias of women is well understood and this is merely an example of it. Some research for you to consider. There is plenty more if you want to look it up

    Both are from 2004 so therefore this prejudice is well known but it has taken another 10 years of throwing boys under a bus for the education industry to address it, or rather not, if you keep trying to confuse issues.

    Incidentally, when this was first published in the Independent it found that male teachers exhibited next to no sex bias when checked by independent blind marking. More male teachers anyone.

  15. Oscar Calme

    May 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Hilary White,

    congratulations on this article. This is an issue that has been ongoing for close on 30 years since the feminisation of education and we are now paying the price. It is only now seeing the light of day.

    I hit a link on the page and was directed to the article ED HUNTER: STATE SCHOOLS ARE SEXIST which is also worth a read.

    Glad to see that you have included Christina Hoff Sommers who has been on this issue since at least 2001.

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  17. Pingback: Teachers’ Unfairness to Boys? | mra-uk

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