Sunday, December 06, 2009

Diversity Is More Important Than Your Child

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a website called Teaching Tolerance which is anything but. Specifically, the site is designed to give educators propaganda to promote a variety of ideas, including homosexuality, "diversity," unionization and other politically correct ideas.

Don't get me wrong; teaching children to be kind to those not in "their" groups is great. Jesus told us to be kind to each other. But do publicized pep rallies do as much good as simply teaching children to be nice to each other every day? I expect teachers to emphasize this concept daily, not needing banners to encourage kindness or showing astonishment that young children can and will play with others easily with a little encouragement. It's really not bizarre for elementary school children, for example, to easily adapt to playing with different children.

Unfortunately, Teaching Tolerance is more interested in pushing PC ideas than actually helping children learn and graduate. Take this article on single sex education.

The trend toward single-sex classes began in 2006 as part of the No Child Left Behind reforms. The Department of Education issued new rules making it easier for school districts to create them. Seven years ago, only 11 public schools offered single-sex classes. Now, the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education reports that at least 445 classrooms nationwide are segregated by gender.

Why the rush to segregate? Some educators see it as an answer to the “boy crisis.” They believe that boys struggle in school more than girls and point to lower test scores and higher dropout rates as proof. Critics of this viewpoint say the “crisis” tends to rest with boys at inner city and rural schools – areas where public schools are weak in general.

Beyond this debate, many educators simply feel that single-sex education is best for some – though not all – students. They believe parents should have the choice of putting their children in all-boy or all-girl classes.

The author goes on to declare that only "anecdotal evidence" exists in support of single sex education. But several studies give single sex education positive scores. And women's colleges have been touted for their academic excellence and opportunities for decades.

But the article links to no evidence supporting either single sex education or co-ed education. In fact, all we're left with is this:
Count me as one of the skeptics about single-sex education. I have a hunch that in ten years this we’ll look back on this as one of those “What were we thinking?” moments in school reform. But I’m willing to see where this experiment is going. And for the sake of the kids involved, I sure hope I’m wrong.

As a conservative, I champion a variety of educational approaches, knowing that children learn different ways. If one person's child excels in a co-ed environment, then, by all means, support that. But if another person's child does poorly in that environment, why should he/she be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness? Unlike the author, I think in 10 years, there will still be many supporters of single sex education because it works very well for some people. Women's colleges serve a purpose for women. Why should any child be treated differently because he/she is in elementary school?