In the United States, many lack the skills necessary for college. Unfortunately, the education system fails to prepare some of its students for work or higher learning. Despite these circumstances, teachers and bureaucrats seek improvements to obtain higher success. In spite of the pressure for success, the current situation is not yielding the desired results. Moreover, in the recent State of the Union Address in early 2014, President Barack Obama stated the need for improved education, especially in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM fields. Yet, what should reformers pursue? Researchers have observed recurring problems to direct the improvement of education. The information presented, particularly over the past ten years, has revealed a need to involve the students that lag the most. Education risks excluding k-12 boys and minorities, as well as remedial education collegians, in higher education.
The reality that boys are failing, especially through elementary, middle, and high school, strikes many as news. Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, cites teachers’ experience that have noticed distinct differences between boys and girls. He presents multiple witnesses of boys’ and girls’ education, one of which is Kenneth Dragseth, the superintendent of schools in Edina, MN. In 2001, He noticed the disparity between the participation of girls and boys in education. He first noted the recipients of almost all academic achievements and scholarship awards were girls. Dragseth initiated specific research into the disparity between boys and girls, and discovered even more details. In a study, he further discovered that girls earned honors awards far more than men, while boys earned suspensions far more than women. Moreover, study revealed 84% of girls liked school, while only 64% of the boys liked school. This inequality of success manifests similar results in college. About sixty percent of degree earners are women, while a little over forty percent of them are men. These statistics reveal education fails to make a connection with some of its boys. Individuals, like Dragseth, must grasp a particular detail in order to help all students succeed, especially the boys that are failing.
According to psychologist Leonard Sax, elementary school boys and girls differ psychologically. Specifically, there are more differences between them than simple social and hormonal differences between boys and girls. The notable difference, that particularly affects education, is the development of the brain. Girls develop the language center of the brain much earlier than boys. When a boy is five, his language center is at the same stage as a 2 ½ year old girl. In scans, one can visibly see the different number of mental connections in the targeted area of the brain. This slight detail demands careful attention. While girls have a higher capacity to grasp the reading and phonics curriculum, boys risk falling behind the curriculum.