There are notable examples that demonstrate that single-sex education can help to combat school failure and promote equality of opportunities among students with a disadvantaged socio-economic position.
The experience of EE.UU
In 2001 the USA Congress adopted Law No child left behind act to deal with the school failure. The law made it possible for public education centers to incorporate single-sex education programs.
In less than 10 years the public centers with these features exceeded the five hundred, with very positive results. Both Barak Obama, USAPresident, and Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Directorate of education, have spoken publicly in favor of the model.
ADVANTAGES FOR GIRLS
A paradigmatic case is the Young Women´s Leadership School of New York, a school for girls in Harlem, where 70% of the population live below the threshold of poverty. The school founders ,who created the school in 1996-under the presidential mandate of Clinton - realized that the girls lived in an environment dominated by boys.
In 2002 the percentage of income in the University was 96%, compared to 50% of average in New York. These results were maintained and in year 2006 TYWLS East Harlem got the first place by graduation ratio , with a 100%. In 2007 this indicator was 97%, compared to the average of the city that remained at 50%.
With this experience, the Young Women´s Leadership Foundation has started other schools. Currently, its network of centres offer education to 1652 girls, from economically disadvantaged environments, aged between 12 and 18 years in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. In the academic year 2007-2008, the demographic origin of its female students was: 51 %African-American, 35% Latino, 9% Asian and 5% from other origins.
The establishment of schools for girls to improve their chances of social progress is also underway in other parts of the world.
ADVANTAGES FOR BOYS
In the lower income neighborhoods of Chicago, only one of every 40 African-American students came to University. As a result of these worrying figures Prep Urban Project was born - a public Institute for African -American boys in which they are enrolled by draw-. The success of these centers is above 95%. In fact, one of the first colleges that Barak Obama visited with his wife was one of these schools, which has led to the students being known as "little obamas".
- Duncan can
provide change we need. Chicago tribune, Letter to the Editor 12/09/2008
- Charter Schools, Why they work. Plus: Arne Duncan talks education. Chicago magazine. February 2009
- Boys and girls together, Taught Separately in Public School The New York Times 11/03/09
- Girls do better without boys, study finds. Single-sex schools improve GCSE results and help struggling pupils The Guardian, Wednesday 18/03/2009
- The White House Blog: “How Our Schools Should Be” 02/0In the light of its benefits, the differentiated education has been endorsed by the different international treaties of reference in educational matters and specific legislation from various countries of the OECD4/2009