Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Study Finds No Benefit to Single-Sex Education

Even as single-sex education continues to be touted as the solution for everything that ails public education, new research findings reported this week suggest that it provides no advantages over coed classrooms.  Psychologists conducted a meta-analysis of 184 studies from all over the world and going back several decades that examined the benefits of single-sex- versus co-education. Their conclusion derived from these studies are that differences in educational outcomes are "trivial, or in many cases, nonexistent." The subset of studies conducted in the U.S. produced a similar conclusion.

This analysis could potentially influence courts' and regulators' determinations of whether the ever-increasing number of schools purporting to experiment with single sex education are lawful under Title IX.  Title IX regulations require single-sex programs to be "substantially related to achieving" the school's objectives.  Evidence that single-sex programs do nothing would undermine claims that they "achieve" anything.