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Johnny can’t read, and NJ educrats don’t know, or care why

Home - by - December 13, 2012 - 15:15 America/New_York - 12 Comments


Boys are falling behind in reading. Way behind.

Young boys across the country have trailed their female classmates in language arts proficiency for at least four decades, but over the last four years, the gender gap in New Jersey’s public schools has widened, test results released last week show.

Between 2009 and 2012, the percentage of fourth-grade girls who passed the reading section of the annual NJ ASK test held at about 65 percent, while the share of boys who passed declined by 8.1 percentage points.

This year, nearly half of the state’s fourth-grade boys failed the test.

Male students’ declining reading proficiency is evident to some degree in every grade and in every demographic subgroup, according to superintendents, who said they don’t understand why this is happening or how to solve the problem.

Even as the language arts gap has grown, the disparity in math scores has almost disappeared. For decades, male students outscored their female counterparts, but girls have now caught up.

“The stereotypes don’t hold true anymore,” said North Brunswick Superintendent Brian Zychowski. “Our girls are scoring just as high as boys in math, but the boys are struggling with reading. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it.”

Not only can’t they explain it, they’re not too interested in finding out why either.




  1. Noodengr

    December 13th, 2012

    Remember the outcry when Mattel issued a talking doll that said ” math is hard” ?
    for some reason this story reminded me of that.
    maybe if less attention was paid to which sex is learning better and more attention was paid to teaching the kids the way us baby boomers were taught, this would not even be an issue.
    I can assure you the time to compile endless statistics and testing the kids would be better off spent teaching the kids.

    Thumb up +4

  2. even steven

    December 13th, 2012

    People in New Jersey need to stop feeding their kids lead paint chips.

    Thumb up +6

  3. Menderman

    December 13th, 2012

    I will wager it is what they assign the kids to read. What most “educators” did to get girls to do better in school was to feminize the curriculum. Boys don’t want to read “My New Pony” or “Little House on the Prarie”, they want action stuff. I liked Tom Sawer and Huck Finn…I hear those are no longer allowed in schools.

    and who cares, it’s just dumb white boys being dumb white boys, right?

    Thumb up +5

  4. Maudie N Mandeville

    December 13th, 2012

    One problem is that an ‘educator’ believes that “girls have now caught up” to boys in math when the story is about how boys have fallen even further in reading. Common sense tells me that as tests have been dumbed down for decades, “girls have now caught up”.

    Thumb up +4

  5. Anonymous

    December 13th, 2012

    If the following is true, boy is the US in deep trouble.

    This is from the NJ NEA website:

    Critics would like the public to believe that New Jersey’s public school system is broken and is failing the students, but here’s the simple truth: Our public schools work. In fact, according to a leading annual publication, New Jersey’s public schools are truly the best in the nation. Here are just a few of the latest statistics :

    ■High school graduation rate is #1 in the nation
    ■Writing scores are the best in the nation
    ■Reading scores are among the best in the nation
    ■Math Scores Are Among the Nation’s Best
    ■Highest AP Scores in the Nation

    Thumb up +2

  6. Tim

    December 13th, 2012

    Hey … Teachers … Leave them kids alone!

    You don’t have to know how to read in Joisey – just how to use your EBT card and put condoms on with your mouth.

    Oh, it helps if you’re a 500 pound turncoat, take-it-up-the-asser.

    Thumb up +5

  7. conservative cowgirl

    December 13th, 2012

    @Menderman, I think you are right about the reading selections the schools force on the kids. I homeschooled my son and had him read all the classics (Horatio Hornblower, Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island, etc, etc) that would be of interest to boys. I carefully chose books that were exciting, had strong male heroes and the good guys triumphing in the end. That was definitely an advantage to homeschooling.

    Thumb up +5

  8. Wyatt, Insensitive Progressive Jerk

    December 13th, 2012

    If they know which lever to pull, or which button to push at election time – then why do they need to learn to read? If they learn to read, they may learn to think, and that will not do at all.

    Thumb up +7

  9. Claudia

    December 13th, 2012

    @Menderman, I agree. It’s also what they are given to read during the standardized test. Quite a few of them have poems. What boy (other than you-know-what) cares about poems?

    A lot of the questions are asking the kids to compare two different poems and tell the similarities to the “gently flowing breeze” in poem A to the “tall withered oak tree” in poem B. Kids response: “WTF do I care”?

    Thumb up +4

  10. norman einstein

    December 13th, 2012

    FTA: “But boys? Nothing to see here, there’s no cause for concern, it’s just The Way Things Are. Boys aren’t a Designated Minority Victim Group. There’s no Title IX for boys. Let ‘em fall behind! Probably serves ‘em right anyway. You know, for all those years they were ahead of the girls.”

    Sadly true.

    Thumb up +3

  11. Tim

    December 13th, 2012

    “What boy (other than you-know-what) cares about poems?”

    Claudia, please!

    A boy who wants to get laid by a better class of girl.

    I’m not a ‘you-know-what’ (closeted or otherwise) and I keep copies of Yeats, Goethe, Shakespeare, Khayyam, Gibran, and others within a few feet of my desk.

    Tim, I concede your point! And it does work! – c

    Thumb up +2

  12. Kevin Killion

    December 14th, 2012

    There is no mystery here. The airhead constructivist lunacy imposed upon schools in the last few decades are destroying education for all kids, but the impact is especially grim for boys. Here’s an article I wrote years ago,
    “22 School Practices That May Harm Boys”: http://www.illinoisloop.org/gender.html

    Thumb up +2