Tag Archives: Education

Why are boys struggling to succeed in school and to find jobs?

Although you might think that there are no reasons for boys underperforming in school and work, a little research shows that this is not the case.

The first reason boys are struggling is because of no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce allows either person in the marriage to end the marriage for any reason or for no reason at all. It was passed because radical feminists and trial lawyers pushed for it. Each special interest group stands to benefit from it in different ways. Feminists oppose the complementary nature of marriage, and trial lawyers just want to drain as much money as they can out of disintegrating families.

70% of divorces are initiated by women, and this is because women tend to emphasize their own subjective feelings of happiness over the objective commitment they make at the wedding. Women today are influenced by feminism to care more about their happiness than they do about loving and serving others, especially husbands and children. This is especially true of the ones who lack trustworthy male influences. The most unstable relationships are lesbian relationships, because there you have two happiness-seekers and no promise-keepers.

In addition, feminism causes women to lose the ability to evaluate men according to traditional male roles, making them vulnerable to predators who do not have the ability to commit to them self-sacrificially. Do you ever wonder why you see single mothers living with atheist men who deliver pizzas and playing video games at age 30? Why is that? Because feminism taught her that men are not better when they are chaste providers and protective mentors. According to feminism, men have no special role as protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader.  Many just pick the best-looking, most entertaining, least demanding, easiest to control man they can find. Someone who doesn’t lead her to behave morally, control her emotions, and put the needs of others above her own desires.

So what happens to boys when marriages can be dissolved so easily?

This article from the Centre for Economic Policy Research explains:

To assess the long-run effect of divorce, we analyse children’s human capital and demographic outcomes. First, we examine college attendance. In Austria, college attendance implies that this person graduated from a higher secondary school. Second, we check the labour market status (employed; unemployed; out-of-labour force) up to the age of 25 years. Third, we examine children’s own family formation behaviour (i.e. fertility and marriage). Finally, we investigate the probability of early mortality (below 25 years of age). Our results show that parental divorce – due to a high level of sexual integration in fathers’ workplaces — has a negative effect on children’s long-term outcomes. Our main findings for human capital outcomes are summarised in Figure 1…

Here’s Figure 1:

Figure 1
Figure 1 (click for larger image)

And Figure 3:  The effect of parental divorce on employment over time.

Figure 3
Figure 3

If you want boys to transition into marriage-minded men, you need to fight against no-fault divorce.

The War Against Boys

The other problem affected boys is also rooted in feminism. Feminism is deeply suspicious of male teachers and male administrators in the schools. As a result, schools tend to be dominated by female teachers and female administrators. Many of these women are feminists, and they seek to change the nature of education from something that is fair to boys and girls, to something that punishes boys and gives the advantage to girls. In addition, feminists in the education industry tend to oppose allowing boys to attend all-male schools, where boys perform at much higher levels.

This article in the left-leaning The Atlantic explains how the school system punishes boys and favors girls – from kindergarten to the workplace, where women receive affirmative action preferences.

Excerpt:

American boys across the ability spectrum are struggling in the nation’s schools, with teachers and administrators failing to engage their specific interests and needs. This neglect has ominous implications not only for the boy’s social and intellectual development but for the national economy, as policy analysts are just beginning to calculate.

[…]Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates.

Boys in all ethnic groups and social classes are far less likely than their sisters to feel connected to school, to earn good grades, or to have high academic aspirations. A recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research documents a remarkable trend among high-achieving students: In the 1980s, nearly the same number of top male and female high school students said they planned to pursue a postgraduate degree (13 percent of boys and 15 percent of girls). By the 2000s, 27 percent of girls expressed that ambition, compared with 16 percent of boys. During the same period, the gap between girls and boys earning mostly A’s nearly doubled—from three to five percentage points.

This gap in education engagement has dire economic consequences for boys. A 2011 Brookings Institution report quantifies the economic decline of the median male: For men ages 25 to 64 with no high school diploma, median annual earnings have declined 66 percent since 1969; for men with only a high school diploma, wages declined by 47 percent. Millions of male workers, say the Brookings authors, have been “unhitched from the engine of growth.”  The College Board delivered this disturbing message in a 2011 report about Hispanic and African-American boys and young adults: “Nearly half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead.” Working-class white boys are faring only slightly better. When economist Andrew Sum and his colleagues at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University examined gender disparities in the Boston Public Schools, they found that for the class of 2007, among blacks and Hispanics, there were 186 females for every 100 males attending a four-year college or university. For white students: 153 females to every 100 males.

Note that radical feminists and socialists oppose solving this problem:

In the U.S., a powerful network of women’s groups works ceaselessly to protect and promote what it sees as female interest. But there is no counterpart working for boys—they are on their own.

[…]The reluctance to face up to the boy gap is evident at every level of government. In Washington, President Obama established a White House Council on Women and Girls shortly after taking office in 2009, declaring: “When our daughters don’t have the same education and career opportunities as our sons, that affects…our economy and our future as a nation.” On the other hand, the proposal for a Council for Boys and Men from a bi-partisan group of academics and political leaders has now been languishing in Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s office for two years.

Similarly, in Maine, the Portland Press Herald ran an alarming story about the educational deficits of boys—reporting that high school girls outnumber boys by almost a 2-1 ratio in top-10 senior rankings, that men earn about 38 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded by Maine’s public universities, and that boys both rich and poor had fallen seriously behind their sisters. But the director of Women’s Studies at the University of Southern Maine, Susan Feiner, expressed frustration over the sudden concern for boys. “It is kind of ironic that a couple of years into a disparity between male and female attendance in college it becomes ‘Oh my God, we really need to look at this. The world is going to end.’”

The rest of the Atlantic article explains how to solve this problem. And the proven solutions clearly show that the problem is not with boys, it’s with an education system that discriminates against boys, making it harder for them to learn the skills they need to find work.

So, the tendency of young men to stay home and play video games comes from discrimination against men in the education system, and no-fault divorce laws that allow spouses (mostly women) to divorce easily. It is women who need to do a better job of “womaning up” to attack no-fault divorce and discrimination against boys in school. But pro-male voices among women are few and far between. Women tend to go along with what makes them look good to others in the culture, and what gives them the most autonomy to pursue happiness (unless they are balanced out by strong men who lead them), and that means the most women tend to just ignore the root causes of male decline.  When I see single women overwhelmingly supporting the anti-male Democrat party, it just tells me that they are not serious about marriage. Whether they intend to or not, they are killing marriage with their political support for misandry.

It would be nice if we got some leadership from pastors in the churches on this issue. It would be if nice the pastors could challenge women to think about how their voting and advocacy of certain policies affect boys. Basically, if pastors could get women to think “and then what happens” to boys who experience no-fault divorce and anti-male schools. But most pastors are like women, and they put more emphasis on being liked based on what is valued in the secular culture. It’s easier for them to remain ignorant and bash men than to pick up a book on education or divorce and read it. If we have a crisis of masculinity, it began in the church, from the “men” behind the pulpit. They need to man up and challenge the feminism that is killing marriage.

Do government-run public schools succeed at educating children?

CNS News compares per-pupil costs to the taxpayer to student proficiency levels in a variety of Democrat-dominated cities.

Excerpt:

In Philadelphia, where the Democratic Party held its national convention, the public schools spent a total of $18,241 per student in the 2011-2012 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

In Detroit… the public schools spent a total of $18,361 per student that year.

In Washington, D.C., where the federal government makes its home, it was $23,980.

What did these schools produce while spending more than $18,000 per student? Not well-educated children.

In the Philadelphia public schools in 2015, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress scores published by the Department of Education, 80 percent of eighth graders were not grade-level proficient in math. Eighty-four percent were not grade-level proficient in reading.

In the Detroit public schools, 96 percent of eighth graders were not grade-level proficient in math. Ninety-three percent were not grade-level proficient in reading.

In the District of Columbia public schools, 83 percent of the eighth graders were not grade-level proficient in math. Eighty-one percent were not grade-level proficient in reading.

If you pay federal taxes — no matter where you live and no matter where you send your children to school — you help subsidize the public schools in Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, D.C.

In fact, if you pay federal taxes you help subsidize the public schools all across America.

What I have noticed about American education is that whenever anything is said about the poor performance of the government-run public schools, the teacher unions and school administrators all cry that the problem is not enough money.

But as you can see, we have been spending more and more money on these schools, but not getting any return on the investment:

Education spending has tripled since 1970
Education spending has tripled since 1970

Where is all that money going? A lot of it is donated to Democrats:

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

(Source)

The Democrats repay the teacher unions by protecting them from competition from private schools and homeschoolers. Democrats shut down every attempt by Republicans to reform public school education to make it more responsive to parents.

In the free market, there is no protection for businesses that fail to perform. They have to shape up or shut down. Maybe instead of shoveling taxpayer money into a bottomless pit, we should give money for each child’s education directly to the parents, and let theparents choose schools that actually focus on the job of educating the children in valuable skills?

The CNS News article continues:

The cost and the poor performance of public schools in the United States should inspire Congress to do two things: Shut down the federal Department of Education and enact legislation creating complete school choice for families that reside in the District of Columbia.

Voters in states and local communities elsewhere in the country can then decide for themselves whether or not to replace the relatively small percentage of local school revenue that now comes from the federal government.

But the right decision would be for states and local communities to stop giving their education money exclusively to government-run schools.

Instead, they should give that money to parents — and let parents decide where to send their children to school.

Communities should grant every child in their jurisdiction a voucher worth the same amount of money currently spent per pupil in the local government schools. Then they should let families decide whether they want to send their children to one of those government schools or to a private school.

Attaching the money to the child makes the parents the consumer, and empowers them to buy the right school – the school that does the job that they want the school to do. Instead of focusing on global warming, gay rights, transgender bathrooms and putting condoms on cucumbers, the schools should be focused on math, engineering, technology and science. STEM is where the money is – not in liberal crybaby indoctrination.

Report: Common Core does not prepare students for college

Cato Institute graphs education spending against test scores
Cato Institute graphs education spending against test scores

First, let’s recall why Common Core was enacted by the Democrats by excerpting this post from The Pulse.

It says:

When Common Core was sprung on the whole nation in 2010, it promised that every kid graduating high school will be “career- and college-ready.” Career-readiness was quickly left by the wayside — nobody, including the NAGB [National Assessment Governing Board], could figure out what it means — but college-readiness remained the “chicken in every pot” promise of Common Core.

The Daily Signal reports on a new report by the American College of Testing, the group behind the ACT college readiness test.

Excerpt:

A recently released report confirms what Common Core critics have suspected all along: Common Core State Standards do not adequately prepare students for college-level work.

The ACT report finds many concerning shortcomings in the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by most states. Notably, the report reveals:

  • “While secondary teachers may be focusing on source-based writing [essays written about source-based documents], as emphasized in the Common Core, college instructors appear to value the ability to generate sound ideas more than some key features of source-based writing.
  • “Some early elementary teachers are still teaching certain math topics omitted from the Common Core standards, perhaps based on the needs—real or perceived—of students entering their classrooms.
  • “In addition, many mathematics teachers in grades 4–7 report including certain topics relevant in STEM coursework in their curricula at grades earlier than they appear in the Common Core.”

Teachers who must adjust their curriculum to fit Common Core aligned state tests now find themselves in a bind. As the report finds, the Common Core math standards do not adequately provide a child with the skills needed to succeed in the classroom, forcing teachers to add on extra material to their limited instruction time.

Additionally, high school English teachers must now emphasize material that leaves students lacking in original thought and analytical skills, according to many college professors. For example, only 18 percent of college professors surveyed rated their students as prepared to distinguish between opinion, fact, and reasoned judgement—a skill determined to be important for college-level work.

The “one-size-fits-all” national standards are underserving American children. It is nearly impossible, and does a great disservice to future generations, to demand uniformity and place restrictions on the classroom that assumes one “best practice.”

Common Core was designed to better prepare students for college, but now we know that it had the exact opposite effect from what the leftists intended – and what the leftists promised us. Just like Obamacare, we elected people who didn’t know what they were doing, did something that made the problem worse, and wasted a ton of taxpayer money in the process. Failure across the board.

One obvious point to make about Common Core is that conservatives are right when we say that education is a state and local issue. It shouldn’t be a federal level issue. Ted Cruz was going to abolish the Department of Education at the federal level and push it down to the states, so that we wouldn’t have screw-ups like this. Just think of all the money that’s been wasted on Common Core, and now we find out that it’s a disaster, just like Head Start.

Big government liberals like the idea of making everything equal, but if everything is equally bad then we really should let parents decide how to educate their kids. They’ll make better choices than secular leftist educrats anyway. The right solution is to give the parents a voucher, and let them choose which school to send their child to – and homeschooling parents should not have to pay into a system that they don’t even use.

Study of elementary school children finds entrenched discrimination against boys

The study is here (PDF), and Susan Walsh writes about the study on her blog.

Excerpt:

A new study of nearly 6,000 elementary school children has found that boys are discriminated against beginning in kindergarten. Christopher Cornwell, an economics professor at the University of Georgia, says that ”gender disparities in teacher grades start early and uniformly favor girls.”

Despite having higher scores on standardized tests, boys get lower grades than girls. Why? Because teachers are basing grades at least partly on classroom behavior, and the standards are very much geared to female norms.

[…]Here’s what the disparity looks like for kindergarten boys:

Std. Deviation Test Scores Grades
Reading -.017 -.27
Math +.02 -.15
Science +.035 -.14

(Note: Values are approx., gauged visually from study graphic.)

Another interesting finding was that boys who adhere to female norms on non-cognitive skills were not penalized. Effectively, the more female behavior was rewarded with a grade “bonus” for males.

The implications of this are obvious. Masculinity, even normal maleness, is being punished in schools from a very young age. Only the most female-acting boys are rewarded with a fair assessment.

I found this story on Stuart Schnederman’s blog, and this is what he had to say about it:

The results demonstrated that schoolteachers are prejudiced against boys. When teachers do not just grade on performance, but include a number of intangible qualities that girls are more likely to possess, they are acting as bigots.

I recommend that everyone pick up a copy of “The War Against Boys” by AEI scholar Christina Hoff Sommers to learn more about this anti-male discrimination problem.

I see a lot of people raving at men to “man up” these days. Many of those people are pastors who remain ignorant about the real, systemic causes of male underachievement. Even very obvious factors – like the dominance of female teachers and administrators in schools – are ignored by the blame-men crowd. Boys generally learn better when they learn from male teachers in all-male classrooms. But unfortunately for boys, there are people who don’t want to do what works for men, especially when it doesn’t fit with feminist ideology.

New study: Asian students outperform white students because they work harder

Asians marry before they have children, so the kids have two parents
Asians marry before they have children, so the kids have two parents

This is from Science, one of the top peer-reviewed journals.

Excerpt:

When it comes to academic achievement, Asian-Americans outclass every other ethnic group, with more than half over age 25 holding a bachelor’s degree—well above the national average of 28%. To find what gives Asian-Americans a leg up, a team of sociologists scoured two long-term surveys covering more than 5000 U.S. Asian and white students. After crunching test scores, GPAs, teacher evaluations, and social factors such as immigration status, the team reports a simple explanation online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Asian-American students work harder.

The team found that students from all Asian ethnic groups put greater importance on effort than on natural ability. This outlook, the team argues, causes students to respond to challenges by trying harder and has a greater impact on Asian-Americans’ academic achievement than does cognitive ability or socioeconomic status. However, the team says Asian-American students reported lower self-esteem, more conflict with their parents, and less time spent with friends compared with their white peers. The team suspects the high academic expectations or their “outsider” status in American society could be to blame.

I know this will come as a shock to people on the left, but race has literally nothing to do with academic achievement. If non-whites work harder than whites, then they outperform whites. Period. What matters is how hard you work.

Let’s go into detail to see why Asian children are so much better than non-Asian children. It starts with their mothers.

Consider this article in the Wall Street Journal.

The article is written by Amy Chua:

Amy Chua is the John M. Duff Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Her first book World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability was a New York Times bestseller, was selected by both the Economist and the Guardian as one of the Best Books of 2003 and translated into eight languages. Her second book,Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance – and Why They Fall was a critically acclaimed Foreign Affairs bestseller. Amy Chua has appeared frequently on radio and television on programs such CNN Headline News, C-Span, The Lehrer News Hour, Bloomberg Television, and Air America. Her writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, and the Wilson Quarterly. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and two Samoyeds in New Haven, Connecticut.

And now, an excerpt from the piece itself:

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it.

[…]Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that “stressing academic success is not good for children” or that “parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.” By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be “the best” students, that “academic achievement reflects successful parenting,” and that if children did not excel at school then there was “a problem” and parents “were not doing their job.” Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up.

And here are her three main points:

Chinese parents demand perfect grades because they believe that their child can get them. If their child doesn’t get them, the Chinese parent assumes it’s because the child didn’t work hard enough. That’s why the solution to substandard performance is always to excoriate, punish and shame the child. The Chinese parent believes that their child will be strong enough to take the shaming and to improve from it. (And when Chinese kids do excel, there is plenty of ego-inflating parental praise lavished in the privacy of the home.)

[…]Chinese parents believe that their kids owe them everything. The reason for this is a little unclear, but it’s probably a combination of Confucian filial piety and the fact that the parents have sacrificed and done so much for their children. (And it’s true that Chinese mothers get in the trenches, putting in long grueling hours personally tutoring, training, interrogating and spying on their kids.) Anyway, the understanding is that Chinese children must spend their lives repaying their parents by obeying them and making them proud.

[…]Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore override all of their children’s own desires and preferences. That’s why Chinese daughters can’t have boyfriends in high school and why Chinese kids can’t go to sleepaway camp. It’s also why no Chinese kid would ever dare say to their mother, “I got a part in the school play! I’m Villager Number Six. I’ll have to stay after school for rehearsal every day from 3:00 to 7:00, and I’ll also need a ride on weekends.” God help any Chinese kid who tried that one.

Then she tells a story about how she coerced one of her children into playing a difficult piece on the piano.

Now you go read the whole article to read the coercion story. Read the coercion story now, I coerce you!

And what do we learn from it? Well, what I learned is that if we Christians want to have any hope of having an influence in the public square, then we will have to marry well, and we will have to train our children like Amy does. We should not be thinking of marriage as a way to have feelings and to gain happiness and fulfillment. Marriage should be about service to God. And one of the ways we serve is by producing children who will have an influence. I think that parents in the West tend to have the idea that the world is a safe place, and that we should try to please our children and make them like us – so that everyone will be happy. But there is one person who will not be happy if we focus on ourselves instead of serving God. Do you know who that might be?

One thing I would say in criticism of Amy is that she seems to only care about grades – which are assigned by teachers who are not necessarily going to have the same goals as a Christian parent. Liberal public schools teachers will grade conservative children down, while grade liberal children up – at least in non-STEM classes. If the class is math or computer science, then your children should be required to be the best. Honestly, public school is child abuse, you should not send your kids there except as a last resort. If you have to budget your whole pre-marriage life to have the money to keep your kids out of public schools, then do it.