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Do African American children have to be segregated by sex to be successful?

This seems to be what the leaders at the Urban Education Symposium held earlier in Jacksonville seems to be saying.

Keynote speaker John Jackson, said … encouraged more development of gender-specific schools such as those already operational in cities like Chicago and New York.

Barbara Darby, president of the North Campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville, seconded this, she said the gender-specific school concept is no longer theory, but is proven performance in other cities. “It is not generating topic discussion, solely. It really is about providing an option that works for a particular group of students. Will all black males benefit from single-gender education? Perhaps not. But if we can educate a percentage of them and move them on the way to college and to be self-sufficient, then why not?”

Cleve Warren co chair, is also bringing several charter schools to town to do just that.

Finally Janet Owens, executive director of the summit said, “There’s a lot of research that speaks to the types of support and strategies that can help young men focus their energies and stay more on task and stay motivated, particularly in those age ranges,”

I can’t help but wonder if these single gender schools will address poverty, parental involvement and have multiple pathways to graduation and creative discipline procedures in place that serve as a consequence for bad behavior, because if not I can’t imagine them being any more successful than traditional public schools.

Finally I just can’t help but think some people see the prospect of single gender charter schools as a money making opportunity. There is big money in charter schools and I would hate that some would prey on desperate families looking for any kind of solution.


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