Helping Boys Who Are Lagging in School
Letter to the Editor submitted by Susan McGee Bailey, Ph.D., and Michelle Porche, Ed.D., to The New York Times in response to the March 28, 2010 column, "The Boys Have Fallen Behind."
April 1, 2010To the Editor: Re “The Boys Have Fallen Behind,” by Nicholas D. Kristof (column, March 28): The fact that boys are lagging in reading skills is a serious concern, but we need to look beyond books featuring “explosions” if we are to do more than play around the edges of the problem. Society is rampant with gendered assumptions that label activities “for boys” or “for girls.” Reading has been tagged “for girls,” and too many parents and teachers are setting low expectations for boys. Barriers holding back girls and women in technology, political leadership and business are addressed by challenging outmoded ideas that these pursuits are “not for girls.” We need to take the same larger-view approach with boys and reading skills by challenging underlying assumptions.