The Efficacy of Single-Sex Education: Testing for Selection and Peer Quality Effects
- 3.3k Downloads
To address selection and peer quality effects in tests of the efficacy of single-sex schools, the achievement of girls attending a public single-sex middle school in the Southwest United States (N = 121) was compared to that of (a) girls who applied but were not admitted to the same school (N = 229) and (b) girls who applied to and attended a coeducational magnet school (N = 134). Achievement scores were collected over 3 years for the ethnically diverse participants (41 African Americans, 27 Asian Americans, 163 European Americans, 251 Latinos, and two Native Americans). After controlling for selection and peer quality effects, there was no significant effect of the gender composition of schools on achievement. Implications for educational policy are discussed.
KeywordsSingle-sex education Academic achievement Gender Peer quality Selection effects
This work is based, in part, on a master’s thesis completed by the first author under the supervision of the third author. The authors thank the members of the thesis committee, Judith Langlois and Cristine Legare, for their helpful comments and suggestions concerning the work. This research was supported by funds from the Debra Beth Lobliner Fellowship. A previous version of this paper was presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, March 2010, Philadelphia, PA.
- Blakemore, J. E. O., Berenbaum, S. A., & Liben, L. S. (2009). Gender development. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Bracey, G. W. (2006). Separate but superior? A review of issues and data bearing on single-sex education. Tempe: Educational Policy Research Unit (EPRU).Google Scholar
- Campbell, P. B., & Wahl, E. (1998). What’s sex got to do with it? Simplistic questions, complex answers. In S. Morse (Ed.), Separated by sex: A critical look at single-sex education for girls (pp. 63–74). Washington, DC: AAUW Educational Foundation.Google Scholar
- Elliot, L. (2009). Pink brain, blue brain: How small differences grow into troublesome gaps- and what we can do about it. New York: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Gurian, M., Henley, P., & Trueman, T. (2001). Boys and girls learn differently!: A guide for teachers and parents. New York: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Haag, P. (1998). Single-sex education in grades K-12: What does the research tell us? In S. Morse (Ed.), Separated by sex: A critical look at single-sex education for girls (pp. 13–38). Washington, DC: AAUW Educational Foundation.Google Scholar
- Lee, V. E. (1998). Is single-sex secondary schooling a solution to the problem of gender inequity? In S. Morse (Ed.), Separated by sex: A critical look at single-sex education for girls (pp. 41–53). Washington, DC: AAUW Educational Foundation.Google Scholar
- Morse, S. (Ed.). (1998). Separated by sex: A critical look at single-sex education for girls. Washington, DC: AAUW Educational Foundation.Google Scholar
- Mael, F. (1998). Single-sex and coeducational schooling: Relationships to socioemotional and academic development. Review of Educational Research, 68, 101–129.Google Scholar
- Mael, F., Alonso, A., Gibson, D., Rogers, K., & Smith, M. (2005). Single-sex versus coeducational schooling: A systematic review. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research. Prepared for the U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
- Myers, R. (1990). Classical and modern regression with applications (2nd ed.). Boston: Duxbury Press.Google Scholar
- National Association for Single-Sex Public Education (2009). Single-sex schools/schools with single-sex classrooms: What’s the difference? Retrieved from http://www.singlesexschools.org/schools-schools.htm.
- Riordan, C. (1998). The future of single-sex schools. In S. Morse (Ed.), Separated by sex: A critical look at single-sex education for girls (pp. 63–74). Washington, DC: AAUW Educational Foundation.Google Scholar
- Riordan, C. (2002). What do we know about the effects of single-sex schools in the private sector? Implications for public schools. In A. Datnow & L. Hubbard (Eds.), Gender in policy and practice: Perspectives on single-sex and coeducational schooling (pp. 10–30). New York: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
- Rustad, N., & Woods, J. (2004). Statement on the legality of single-sex education. American Association of University Women: Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www.aauw.org/advocacy/issue_advocacy/actionpages/upload/singlesex_comments.pdf.
- Sadker, M., & Sadker, D. (1994). Failing at fairness: How our schools cheat girls. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Sax, L. (2005). Why gender matters. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
- Texas Education Agency (2010). Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) resources. Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=948&menu_id=793.
- U.S. Department of Education (2003). Identifying and implementing educational practices supported by rigorous evidence: A user friendly guide. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/evidence_based/evidence_based.asp.
- United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996).Google Scholar