Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What our schools need? A few good men

I couldn't agree more! As I saw in another 60 Minutes story years ago, "where are the men?". Some statistics:
Despite some inroads by men, teaching remains a female-dominated profession. This is especially true for younger children. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2% of pre-K and kindergarten teachers and 18% of elementary and middle-school teachers are men.

The situation is more balanced, but not evenly balanced, in secondary school, where 42% of teachers are men.
And then why we need men in our K-12 classrooms:
First, men represent an underutilized talent pool. If we could attract more males to teaching, school districts would have an easier time hiring outstanding individuals. The point is not that men are better teachers, but that highly qualified men are far less likely to apply for teaching jobs.

Second, boys in particular benefit from the presence of male role models in the classroom. As Stanford University professor Thomas Dee has documented, in a study of more than 20,000 middle-school students, boys perform better when they have a male teacher, and girls perform better when they have a female teacher. If we want to do something about boys' often sluggish classroom performance, more male teachers could be a useful step.

Third, we especially need black male teachers in the classroom. As Education Secretary Arne Duncan has argued, "All of our students benefit from having a black male in the classroom. But particularly our young black males." Yet black males represent a mere 2% of the K-12 teaching workforce. If this were to change, we might begin to see better educational outcomes and life outcomes for young black males.
That third point is very important I think. Young Black males are struggling and they get into the most trouble. If only they saw someone who looked like them in the classroom and helping to build them up!

Read the rest! And worth a cross-post to the unofficial Shedd School blog.

Via Instapundit.

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