No Child Left Behind.. No Boy Left Behind!

By: Gienie Assink

In classrooms across North America, there is a new trend that worries educators. In every category and demographic group, boys are falling behind in school. Many teachers believe boys cannot stay organized, they finish their homework but lose it in their backpacks, and they often have trouble focusing in class. Boys are falling behind while girls are thriving.

Once again, learning differences between the sexes have become a big issue for educators. According to the January 30, 2006 edition of “Newsweek”, “In elementary school, boys are two times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with learning disabilities an twice as likely to be placed in special-education classes. High school boys are losing ground to girls on standardized writing tests, and the number of boys who said they didn’t like school rose 71 percent between 1980 and 2001, according to a University of Michigan study.”

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education, male enrollment, performance and work ethic at colleges and universities is also down across the board. Thirty years ago, men represented 58 percent of the undergraduate body. Currently, men are a minority on campus at 44 percent.

  • Jerry

    Hmmmm. Could it be that the majority of teachers are female and they don’t treat the male students fairly?

  • Rupert in Springfield

    My theory? Well, take a look around from a boys perspective.

    1) A boy will almost never see a commercial or poster championing boys and their abilities.

    He will see plenty of encouragement for girls. Girls in sciences, girls in math. If a boy excels at science or math it will not be lauded or treated as remarkable and to be encouraged in at all the same way as if he were a girl. I personally can not think of any programs or advertising campaigns directed specifically at boys in math, or science. I can think of plenty for girls. In fact the only scholastic program I can think of directed specifically at boys that might be better than girls would be a football scholarship to college.

    2) Take your daughter to work day, hiring quotas and other societal pressures.

    When I entered high school from day one the goal was to get into an engineering program in college. Midway through my freshman year I was on the phone with my sister back home who is two years younger than me. She asked why I was going to college to be an engineer as she didn’t think there was much money to be made in running a locomotive. That was her level of dedication. By the time of my junior year, our college careers overlapped. I was astonished at the difference in attitude. Women were not at all uncommon in engineering schools at the time. Somehow at my parents parties and social events when she was introduced to people it was almost as if completion of her freshman year was akin to climbing Mt Everest. Even now, with women the majority of college graduates this sort of thing still prevails.

    3) Negative portrayals of men in general in almost every form of advertising –

    a – Can any one name for me one commercial they have seen on TV or heard on the radio where the woman is portrayed as dimwitted and the man is the smart one correcting her? I can name you about a hundred the other way around. In any political ad that features a presumably married man and woman, watch to see who is pouring the coffee and listening and watch who is doing the informing on the issues.

    b – Can you think of one government ad program, such as the “national fatherhood program AD council” advertisements, that doesn’t portray men and fathers as people who are screwed up and in need of correction? Can you think of a single government advertising program directed at women this way? I sure cant. When you are in the grocery store, can you honestly say that you see more fathers treating their kids badly than mothers? I sure cant.

    No I don’t hate women. I have been married to several, most at different times. I have both formats of children, female and male. I view both their abilities as well as their duties as being equal. To excel beyond what is expected of them in every discipline so as to be a well rounded individual and thus form the foundation of the master race created in my image.

  • eagle eye

    One thing about the growing disparity by gender in college enrollments — it would be interesting to see how much of this is a racial/ethnic phenomenon. It is definitely the case that black males are vastly underrepresented in college. I wonder about Hispanics. I wonder how much of a disparity there is among white and Asian students. I suspect it is much less or even non-existent. But don’t know.

  • dean

    Jerry….prior to the Viet nam war just about 100% of elementary school teachers were female. It was one of the only professions open to women, so if what you suggest is true it should have been equally true decades ago.

    Rupert…I can think of many many portrayals of women as dumb, as in dumb blond jokes and countless “housewife” commercials where the poor gal is baled out by Mr Clean or giggles over how soft the toilet paper is. In recent years it seems dumb blue collar guy humor has taken center stage, ala Larry the Cable Guy, but I’m not sure this is out of balance yet.

    I don’t track government ad programs. But did work for the government (Forest Service) and that agency was very discriminatory against women (and found so by a male federal judge) for many decades. They righted the ship only in the late 80s, probably over correcting as command control organizations are wont to do. But for many decades a woman could not get promoted to any position of authority in that and other agencies, so a period of adjustment was overdue.

    Eagle…the college enrollment stats are mind bending. I think the average now is about 60-40 female over male. In my son’s high school nearly every IB student was female. I teach part time at UO and in my field the women outnumber the men (in school) by a huge margin, probably 70-30 in hat had been a completely male dominated profession. And the women are way better students….no question.

    Doors were finally opened and women are pouring through them. THis is a good thing. But guys need to adjust and get our sh** together and right quick. Let’s do it by raising the bar on ourselves and our sons, not by holding back the competition.

    • eagle eye

      I agree the stats are amazing, but you haven’t addressed my questions re ethnicity.

      I think you will still find e.g. in math and the physical sciences, the top students are male. In the areas where the males still care to compete, they dominate.

      Much of the problem at the universities is the complete cave-in to the feminists. Places like UO have become very male-unfriendly.

      I predict this is going to become, if it is not already, a funding problem for the universities. They simply can’t afford to turn off the male population as they are doing, and hope to prosper.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >>Rupert…I can think of many many portrayals of women as dumb, as in dumb blond jokes and countless “housewife” commercials where the poor gal is baled out by Mr Clean or giggles over how soft the toilet paper is. In recent years it seems dumb blue collar guy humor has taken center stage, ala Larry the Cable Guy, but I’m not sure this is out of balance yet.

      Oh good lord. Come on already. Stop being so obtuse. I am referring to advertisements over the last ten or twenty years or so. Did I really need to state that? We are talking about boys in school now. Not 20 years ago, not 100. Does it really need to be stated that I would be talking about current advertisements etc. when talking about a current situation with boys? How would boys now be affected by shows and ads 30 years ago?

      I mean seriously, if this is the level of constructivity you can bring to something, then why bring it up at all? You know its perfectly ok to not have a comment about everything.

      Fine, I’m sorry that I did not specifically rule out, in a discussion of boys now, that there may be some boys who are caught in a recursive time loop, and thus are observing broadcasts advertisements and the whole world around them in the 1950’s while the rest of us are living in 2008.

      Now, get to the point:

      Name me one advertisement, radio or TV, or sitcom for that matter where the man is smart, and the woman is stupid? Name one?

      Got one?

      Id love to hear it. I sure cant think of one.

      But boy oh boy, I am waiting for you to make a contribution that refutes my point.

      Oh, and just to avoid further silly obtuseness:

      When I say name one, I mean an existing, or recent, within 10 or 20 years, US broadcast originating from within the United States or its territories.

      By existing or recent that means current production, not what is commonly referred to as a re-run, or a show in syndication unless such show or advertisement was produced within the 10 or 20 year period as reckoned from the current date going backwards chronologically.

      By ten or twenty, I mean those numbers as realized in common base ten parlance, not base two or three or hexadecimal or any other system of numerical notation.

      By years, I mean human years, not dog years. These would also be years as recognized according to the standard calendar, not the Chinese, Mayan or Hebrew one. The reckoning of the interval of a year should also be assumed with a velocity of all parties at a rest state relative to each other. Note, this specifically precludes chronological reckoning by extending the period of one year to be longer by counting such years as if reckoned between a near light speed craft relative and an observer not traveling at near light speed.

      By advertisement, Television, Radio – I mean its common usage as defined in the OED, 1971 version as published by the Oxford University press.

      By sitcom, I mean a situational comedy appearing generally on television, with television as defined above.

      By man and woman I mean man and woman of the human species at this time period not Neanderthal man or Cro Magnun observing broadcasts through accidental interception of any sort sum of all probabilities path of such broadcast in a recursive time loop that might occur, but not be observable, to an someone who was not in that loop.

      >Let’s do it by raising the bar on ourselves and our sons, not by holding back the competition.

      Ahhh, if only liberals would apply this sort of philosophy to economics. What a happy world this would be.

      “Hey poor person in the street, Why are you trying to hold me back with your silly income redistribution programs, national health care and all that stuff? Why don’t you raise the bar on yourself, get your and get a damn job?”

      Sigh, I feel better already.

      • dean

        I don’t watch much TV, and channel surf through commercials without taking detailed notes, but was amazed to come across both Mr Clean and the Charmin thing (updated barely) still on the air. That plus God knows how many val gal imitations….”So I was like….and he was like….and we were like… wateverrrr….”

        I’m not talking 10 or 20 years ago. Maybe 10 or 20 weeks ago. Girls and young women are largely signaled to act stupid and cute in order to attract hunky guys. Some still fall for this and some don’t. That you don’t see this sugests you don’t get out and around much, but I’ve seen it play out even in bucolic Springfield.

        I don’t watch sitcoms as a rule, so can’t go there. Just about any sitcom I ever watched seemed to be equal opportunity on making everyone look stupid, regardless of race, class, or gender. THe last sitcom I did watch regularly was Dharma and Greg. Dharma was just an updated Lucille Ball, forever a victim of the opposite of whatever she was striving for (the Bhuddist lesson of the show).

        Interesting side trip down Rupert’s perpetual class warfare. For the record, the poor person in the street is not normally the one advocating progressive taxation and social spending. They are mostly out of the political loop and fairly powerless. It is your fellow middle, upper middle, and even upper class liberals (like me) who do that advocacy, not to hold you back but to help others lift themselves up, either out of ethics or naked self interest. Sorry you don’t see it that way, but maybe someday you will come around.

  • eagle eye

    The stats for male/female balance at Oregon public universities are pretty interesting. They can be found here:

    Interesting that it is close to 50-50 at Oregon State and UO, and nearly exactly 50-50 when they are combined. No imbalance.

    Where it is heavily weighted toward females is at the smaller campuses (except OIT). So in the rural areas, males are avoiding the rural campuses. (A red state thing!)

    This is consistent with, but certainly does not prove, my hunch that the imbalance is largely an ethnic thing.

    I would guess that among middle class urbanized people, there is not much of an imbalance at all, as we see at UO/OSU.

    • dean

      The national ratio appears to be about 57-43% according to several media reports. I’m surprised UO is near 50-50. Its certainly not that in the department I teach in, and it does not feel that way walking around there, but that could be my own perception.

      I would bet the imbalance does show up within races. It may be true that equalizing for socio-economics changes things, but maybe not.

      What is interesting is that economically white males used to do quite well without a college degree (blue collar union days of yore,) but that is much harder now. So you would think the incentive would be the reverse of the actual outcome.

      • eagle eye

        It all depends on what you notice when you are walking around! Another thing, the girls may be more diligent at attending classes.

        • dean

          Yes…well…I did not want to go there.

          Beyond attendance, there are class rosters. The young women are in general more dilligent all the way around. The young men, not all but generally speaking, seem barely fit for cave life.

          We guys, outside of engineering and hard science perhaps, are in trouble. A few of us may be kept around for breeding purposes and standup, but they won’t need all that many of us for that.

          • eagle eye

            It’s not just the guys who are in trouble, it’s everyone (including the little boys). Look at what has happened to the black inner-city areas, where upwards of 80% of the kids are being raised in broken families. It’s a calamity, the only thing that keeps it from being worse is that so many of the violently dysfunctional males are being locked up. And it’s not just the black slums, it has hit the white population, to a lesser extent, as well.

            Personally, I’ve walked around UO a fair bit, I don’t think the male student population is any less presentable than the female population. And let me ask you this: how often have you had to put up with bawling males in your office after an exam?

    • Martha

      Having done time in a rural community college I will add my two cents on this. The majority of my class mates were fairly poor and mothers, mostly single but some not. Women are much more likely to have majority custody of children and cannot drop their job and relocate easily for a couple years of college. I’m not sure what your red state comment means, but I have the feeling that the number imbalance with the genders is more complicated than our comments so far might suggest.

      • eagle eye

        The red state thing means this: the rural areas are “red state”. The statistics seem to show, in Oregon at least, that the rural campuses, which probably attract predominantly rural students, are disproportionately attracting female students. That suggests to me that the young rural male population is less interested in higher education, for whatever reasons. Do they have better ways of making their way in the world? Are they just bugging out of life? Or something else? I don’t have the slightest idea, well, I suspect the latter, but I don’t know.

        In any case, the statistics I dug are very striking, I didn’t expect what I found at the rural campuses. I was less surprised at the UO/OSU picture.

  • Rupert in Springfield


    > That you don’t see this sugests you don’t get out and around much, but I’ve seen it play out even in bucolic Springfield.

    No, it suggests that you simply cant admit the truth, namely after two requests you can not name me a single sitcom advertisement etc. in which the woman appears as a dolt, and the man as the more intelligent one and thus we have this lame attempt at an insult.

    And by the way, nice try with the Mr. Clean thing. It shows you tend to make things up, although that is not much of a revelation in these pages. Clearly you have not seen many Mr. Clean commercials, as it is a particularly poor example.

    1 – I have seen plenty of Mr. Clean commercials. I cant remember Mr. Clean speaking words in a single one. As I recall he generally leans into frame at the end and winks. Hard to establish a superior intelligence to the woman with no words and just a wink into the camera.

    2 – Mr. Clean, in all recent commercials I am aware of is an animated figure. You are telling me a silent animated figure is shown to be more intelligent than the woman?

    Care to try for another attempt? Or should we chalk this up as yet another time where you have been asked to give a citation or the reasoning behind your beliefs and we have found they are based not on evidence or logic, but simply the brain dead non reasoning of liberal boiler plate?

    >Girls and young women are largely signaled to act stupid and cute in order to attract hunky guys.

    Right, and of course this little factoid, which you just pulled out of thin air is directly contradicted by the entire issue at hand. Namely that girls are excelling at school and boys are falling behind. Pretty hard to argue girls are encouraged to act stupid when the evidence within the very article we are discussing directly contradicts that.

    Maybe its best to think a little before flailing away like this? You aren’t helping yourself with this sort of emotionalism.

    >I don’t watch sitcoms as a rule, so can’t go there.

    Ok, so you don’t watch sitcoms, and you previously admitted that you don’t watch television in general. So one question arises.


    You are self admittedly unaware of the topic at hand relevant to my point, media portrayals, and yet you insist I am wrong. You can not give an example because of your lack of knowledge of media portrayals and yet you still yammer on.

    In a word you bring nothing to refute my point except stuff you are simply making up since you have admitted you have no knowledge of current media portrayals of men and women.

    That seems a little asinine to me.

    >upper class liberals (like me)

    You have a nebulous landscape business with no employees and are a part time teacher. Get real.

    >Sorry you don’t see it that way, but maybe someday you will come around.

    Come around to what? Seeing things your way? Why would I ever see it that way when what you state is entirely untrue. You simply prefer a tax system that takes from one person to give to another. That is not altruism on your part, it is simply greed. You like the feeling of helping the poor, but want to use other peoples money to achieve it. If there is anything more selfish or greedy in this world, I would be hard pressed to think of what it is.

    You think taking money out of my pocket to give to others doesn’t hold me back? What would you suggest does hold a person back then?

    • dean

      From the bottom up more or less:

      Taxation is broadly applied, not targeted at Rupert. You have no idea how much I make or don’t make, or used to make, or may make someday. But you are right…it is not altruism. It is naked self interest. Fewer poor people means less crime, less social problems, and so forth. Thus my chance of getting knocked over the head for my wallet or bicycle becomes proportionally lower if there are fewer poor people around. My health insurance rate goes down if we universalize access and start to control costs from the top. The air I breath and the water I drink are cleaner if we regulate pollution. Naked self interest. I am greedy for less crime, cheaper health care, and cleaner surroundings for myself and maybe my kid. Everyone else can choke on it. That’s me all over. Altruism schmaltruism.

      I was thinking/hoping more that you eventually might come around to your liberal wife’s point of view, not necesarily mine. I’m hopeful but not optimistic. Relax.

      My business is nebulous? Hmmmnn. Self employment is a bad thing? Teaching part-time is a bad thing? I am supposed to feel bad about my hard won and treasured independence? My personal circumstances make my opinions worthless? Whatever.

      “Girls and young women signalled to act stupid and cute…” is not a “factoid.” It is an observation. A mere opinion not backed by data. I form this opinion not just from what little television i watch, but from film, and especially from the way boys and young men react to girls and young women. You have never seen a film or TV story about a smart, scholarly gal portrayed as a hopeless, unhappy nerd who only gets the guy after a makeover where she loses the glasses, shortens the skirt, and gets a new do?

      Yes…in spite of this rather relentless cultural signal many girls and young women have beat the odds and excelled academically, profesionally, and otherwise. I attribute this to the gradual opening of opportunities due to the work of liberals and feminazis over the years. And good for them (girls and women) and us (men who appreciate accomplished women).

      Now your yourself have admitted Mr Clean still exists (in animation form). So why did you suggest earlier he has not existed for 20 or more years? How about the Charmin man? He is still out there in some form as well right?

      Yes….I would say that knowing wink and nod after Mr Clean has solved the problem that perplexed the housewife to exasperation is a none too subtle signal that men….even mere silent cartoon men who magically pop out of bottles, are here to save women by solving problems for them, even problems we tend to know spit about, like how to clean a house. What do you think the message is? That a helpful genie-like creature is really in the bottle?

      I watch enough television to get the drift. I don’t take notes on the social messages of this or that commercial so have to punt on your challenge that I cite more specific examples beyond Mrs Clean and Whipple (I finally remembered his name!). I admit the truth that I am no offereing further citiations…but rest assured the next time I come cross one I will have pen and paper ready.

      Eagle…fortunately I have had neither bawling males not bawling females. But I would rather have a bawling female than an angry male with a gun peed off about his grade.

      • Gienie

        Except Dean… Fish start rotting from the head and on down… so good luck with that!

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >But you are right…it is not altruism. It is naked self interest. Fewer poor people means less crime, less social problems, and so forth.

        Wrong – Fewer poor people does not automatically mean less crime. I would suggest taking a basic criminology course. This is the A number one myth that almost any criminology 101 course would dispel for you on day one.

        Right – It is naked self interest, you seek to be charitable, but with other peoples money.

        >I am greedy for less crime, cheaper health care,

        Right, cheaper health care for you, more expensive for me. The money has to come from somewhere and all I see your side ever doing is trying to extract it from me. Sorry, you want health care, pay for it, don’t come running to me, I’m not your momma.

        >Self employment is a bad thing? Teaching part-time is a bad thing? I am supposed to feel bad about my hard won and treasured independence? My personal circumstances make my opinions worthless?

        Wrong – LTR

        >Yes…in spite of this rather relentless cultural signal many girls and young women have beat the odds and excelled academically

        Well, since you cannot think of a single concrete example to refute my contention regarding media images, you can hardly say that the signal to girls is more relentless than to boys.

        >Now your yourself have admitted Mr Clean still exists (in animation form). So why did you suggest earlier he has not existed for 20 or more years?

        Because I did not consider that you were actually trying to make the absurd point that a bald animated janitor, winking act the camera in the last section of a commercial came across as more intelligent than the live woman.

        >How about the Charmin man? He is still out there in some form as well right?

        Good lord.

        You have thoroughly lost it. Mr. Whipple was constantly portrayed as a complete idiot, with the woman always correcting him at the end of the commercial. There is absolutely no one who would watch those commercials and think he was portrayed as anything but a complete and utter idiot.

        Real bad example. And by the way Mr. Whipple is dead.

        >What do you think the message is? That a helpful genie-like creature is really in the bottle?

        With Mr. Clean God knows. But I certainly don’t think most people would view the commercial the way you do. I frankly never understood the Mr. Clean character. I grew up thinking Mr. Clean was some sort of leather daddy figure as those were the only people in my experience who dressed that way, shaved their heads and wore an earring. In Greenwich Village they were also the only men at all likely to be hanging around with ones mother and helping clean the house. I generally viewed Mr. Clean as someone who probably would be a lot of fun at a bar, but probably useless as a cleaning helper. I mean it sort of seemed to work that way in real life, so I saw no need to believe opening a bottle of floor cleaner would change the behaviour of the average leather daddy. I realize there is some chance mine might be the minority view however.

    • Anonymous

      Dean is commenting because he is a paid shill – or is it because he has nothing better to do all day than to spam OC?

      • Gienie

        I would have to differ with you on that one Anon.

        First, Dean provides further discussion that brings other ideas to the table, which is the only way to further educate yourself and others on issues. It doesn’t matter if his ideas are well founded or just personal opinions, there is always healthy debate which is Oregon Catalyst’s goal in reaching out toward residents of this state.

  • Jerry

    The whole point of all this is that public education is not doing a good job. Period.
    People should be free to send their kids to any school they like, public or private, with the state money attached to the kid.
    Period. End of report.

    • eagle eye

      Ah, it’s all the fault of public education, like everything else.

      Do you have any data that show that private schools, in general, manage to do better by males than the public schools do?

  • Gienie

    You make an excellent point Jerry. New Zealand, Belgium and other countries have done exactly that—by taking the money away from the schools and giving it directly to the student… and when the student/parents don’t like the education they are receiving they as well as that money walk right out the door and find another institution.

    Government schools are corrupt and cannot be fixed, the only way to handle problems such as these is to get rid of the monopoly, and district lines, and open it all up to free market enterprise!

    • eagle eye

      If you really think it’s such a great idea — I don’t know what Belgium and New Zealand actually do — but get it put on the ballot again in Oregon — ask Bill Sizemore — and see if the people go for it.

      • Gienie


        You depress me… always the attitude of.. the glass is half empty… we can’t do anything to change.. ho hum… we should just settle.

        Not exactly how I want to be remembered anyway.

        • dean

          Gienie….thanks for the defense, even though we normally disagree on politics. But be careful about irking Mr or Ms Anonymous. Very grouchy shadow lurker that one. Or two.

          I don’t think Mr Eagle is being pessimistic. He is merely being realistic and perhaps truly conservative. We have a long tradition in this country of public education as one of our few social equalizers. Its a way imperfect one, but the philosophy of conservatism is supposed to be cautious about radical changes to long established institutions. Read your Burke. It is we liberals who are supposed to come up with wild eyed and untested ideas for radical makeover of society.

          Rupert…did I write “automatically?” LTRD. I don’t believe in magic. But if poverty and crime are unrelated, then why have numerous studies shown that people actually in prison (other than the guards and warden) are poor and poorly educated in much larger proportions than the general population? Poverty does not cause crime, but it is strongly associated with it. Look at data from Portland on crime. It is clearly higher in the poorer neighborhoods, and I would imagine that is true for any city in the United States. Can’t be mere coincidence if it is repeated over and over.

          I did take Criminology 101. I studied to be a cop my first 2 years of college. Ask any cop if he/she feels safer patrolling in Dunthorpe or Rockwood, Portland or Detroit. Ask yourself what neighborhood you choose to live in and why.

          Good point on Mr Whipple. Now that I think about it he was a major league dufus. I withdraw that example and will channel surf dillegently for a replacement once I get done playing farmer on my new tractor.

          Cheaper health care for all, or nearly all, would result from universal health insurance, unless we choose to ignore the data from every other nation on the planet that has universal insurance. The “money” comes from cutting out the 30% take in the middle, by tighter control over reimbursibles, reduction of service redundancies, and possibly (though I am not convinced of this) better preventive care. We already have the most expensive insurance on the planet, those of us who can even get it.

        • eagle eye

          I depress you? I’m the one who pointed out, at least, that males are not doing so badly at UO/OSU. I would think that might cheer you up.

          The voters who walloped vouchers 2-1 in Oregon when they had the chance to go for your idea are the ones you should be depressed about. You think you can do better this time? Then go for it! I think you’re dreaming, but maybe I’m wrong.

          In any case, I don’t think vouchers would make a huge difference in the schools. Is there ANY evidence they would make a difference in the situation you wrote about? i.e. lagging male performance — e.g. is it less of a problem (systematically) in private schools? I asked Jerry if he has any DATA, I’m still eager to hear.

  • Aaron

    For anyone who has children of both sexes, it is more than obvious that boys and girls are born different. Different in how they communicate, learn, and develop. Different in how they listen to their parents and how they play. And yes different in how they behave (or misbehave) in class.

    Is it any surprise that one of the two will suffer when they are placed in an educational system that assumes they will, or asserts they must communicate, learn, develop, listen and play in the same way?

    Is there not a shift taking place that affirms girlhood as the ideal and expects boys to conform?

    Until the school system acknowledges the true and inherent differences between boys and girls, takes this into account, and teaches them accordingly, there will be sad storys like the one above for a long time to come.

    • RXH

      To reinforce most of the opinions here: I noticed one obvious picture at my son’s high school graduation: the 10 most decorated students were all female. The principle is female most teachers were female and I assume most scholarships are going to females.
      My son who has a very high IQ, somehow was never motivated to perform and will attend community college to save money and hope to enter U of O through the back door.
      A sad state of affairs.

      • dean

        RXH…so picture what you just described in reverse 20 or 30 years ago. Doors that were long closed have now opened and girls and young women are doing the work and walking through them. As you said, it was your son’s lack of motivation that held him back, not the girls.

        Best of luck to him. I did the community college path and there is no shame in it. Some are later bloomers than others.

        • RXH

          Correct dean, the pendulum has probably swung too much the other way.
          I hope that our education community has taken notice and will try to do a better job in inspiring our young men (and women) to excel.
          Thanks for your welll wish for my son. I also went the community college path and then graduated from OSU. It can be done.

          • dean

            Maybe the results indicate that the pendulum has swung too far. I get the sense the education establishment has taken notice. What they can or will do about it is probably a more difficult question.

            3 cheers for community colleges and 2nd chances. That is one aspect of our system that beats the systems in other nations hands down. In most of Europe, if you don’t do well coming right out of high school you get few or no new opportunities.