There's one of those articles in the New York Times where they state the obvious over and over again: boy's graduation rates are horrible - and even more so in New York! (Although, it sounds like the methods of data collection and analysis are a bit questionable - any thoughts on that?)
It is no suprise to us as educators that this is the case. We can see it every day. As I've discussed before, the problem is us! We are not offering curriculum that speaks to boys. Boys are very much interested in life and learning. They are curious and they wonder about how things work. School just isn't working for them.
This adds further to my desire to see high schools dramatically changed. Secondary education is desperately in need of an overhaul - complete and total. The current model is not working. I imagine something more like elementary schools - interdisciplinary units that encompass the entire day. Give students more choice over what they study. (Why is it that elementary aged children are often given this freedome, but high schoolers aren't? Wouldn't it make more sense to allow them - as they grow in maturity and intelligence - more independence in their learning paths?) All of this woul dmake sense for boys AND girls.
What's stopping us? Why do we hold onto this model? Perhaps change scares us - the educators. We are unwilling to let go of what has worked for us in our own education to consider what could be improved.
Is anyone out there willing to engage in an extended thought experiment? Let's work on making a model of a high school that we feel would work in today's world. I'm very serious about this ... if you are interested, leave a comment or e-mail me privately. We could come up with a model and write an article. Someone has to start some change!