Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why I'm "mean" to Girl Scouts

I was getting some exercise with coworkers a few weeks ago when I saw a Girl Scout. She was about eight years old and with her daddy and absolutely adorable. She was also selling cookies.

I flagged her down and asked her if I could buy some cookies. She beamed at me. She didn't realize that I was a crazy customer until I made her do the following:
  1. Recite the Girl Scout pledge with me. (Get those fingers up!)
  2. Solve a math problem based on the amount of cash I had and how many boxes of cookies I could buy and what my change would be. (Don't help, Dad!)
My coworkers laughed when I explained that I am that way with all Girl Scouts. I had so much fun in my own days of scouting and learned so much. I want the girls of today to learn how to boat as well as how to do algebra in their heads.

As it turns out, those girls might not need my help. You see, there has been a major shift in education gaps - it turns out that girls are far outpacing the boys. This piece from the Economist delves deep into several studies over the years that have found a widening gender gap in literacy and other academic pursuits. The article takes a look at how 50 years ago, boys had the upper hand in amount of schooling and the reality of today where girls are doing more homework and reading for pleasure more often. The piece attempts to take a stab at gender bias with female teachers and female students, as well as provide the type of environment where boys still outpace girls, but the point remains: Girls had no where to go but up.

Which gender makes for the better students in your child's classroom? The boys or the girls? Tell me in the comments.

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