Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 15, 2009 / 28 Kislev 5770

Civil Rights Commission Blunders Again

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The U.S. Civil Rights Commission (yes, it's still around and yes, it's outlived its usefulness) is about to subtract from national wisdom about college admissions by focusing on exactly the wrong problem.


The commission has undertaken an inquiry to determine whether colleges may be discriminating against female applicants. The question turns on whether admissions officers, in an attempt to maintain rough gender parity on campuses, are putting a thumb on the scale in favor of underrepresented male applicants, thus disadvantaging the more qualified females.


That this is happening — though it theoretically violates the law for public institutions — is an open secret. Women now earn 62 percent of associate degrees, 58 percent of bachelor's degrees, and 60 percent of master's degrees. Women's dominance in higher education would be even more pronounced if colleges were truly gender blind in admissions. But they are not. Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania admitted 19 percent of male applicants last year but only 14 percent of females. The College of William and Mary, a public college in Virginia, admitted 43 percent of its male applicants and 29 percent of its female applicants last year. Administrators worry that a severe imbalance of women to men will make the campus less desirable for all applicants. Director of Admissions Henry Broaddus told US News and World Report, "Even women who enroll … expect to see men on campus. It's not the College of Mary and Mary; it's the College of William and Mary."


US News estimates that most of the 1,400 colleges that participate in its annual survey are offering more favorable admissions standards to male than female applicants. Boys now need the extra help.

Letter from JWR publisher


So we seem to have a problem here. For every 100 women who earn a college degree, only 73 men do. These statistics practically shout "boy crisis." Yet the Civil Rights Commission apparently sees the problem as one of discrimination.


Let's suppose the commission finds the discrimination it is seeking (which won't be hard). And let's imagine that they issue a blistering report exhorting Congress and the nation to remedy this injustice. Will women be happier at campuses in which men comprise only 35 or 40 percent of the student population? Will our society be better off with women outpacing men in education and income? Or might it be better to address the flagging achievement of boys in our school system?


As nearly everyone who is not president of Harvard can acknowledge, boys are the intellectual equals and sometimes superiors of girls. Despite their diminished numbers in higher education, boys continue to perform narrowly better on verbal standardized tests than girls, and significantly better than girls in math. IQ experts agree that boys are more represented at both ends of the bell curve than girls. James Q. Wilson summed it up: "There are more male geniuses and more male idiots." But girls are racking up the A's in primary, middle, and high school. They are excelling at extracurricular activities. They are assuming leadership posts, multitasking, and polishing the kinds of resumes admissions officers admire.


Christina Hoff Sommers argued nearly a decade ago in "The War Against Boys" that in our zeal to remedy past discrimination against girls, we had managed to pathologize normal male behavior. The schools in particular, she wrote, discouraged male strengths like competition and drive in favor of female strengths like cooperation and detail work.


Let's concede that the campaign to boost girls' performance succeeded very well. But with more than two decades of data showing diminishing achievement by boys, it is past time to focus on reviving their fortunes. Is it the schools' bias against competition? It's worth examining — particularly when we know that all of our kids, boys and girls alike, will be competing against highly disciplined students from India, China, and elsewhere who work twice as hard.


Or could it be another aspect of male brain development? The New York Times profiled a fast-growing service catering to upper-middle-class parents in New York — organizational tutors. They help kids (overwhelmingly boys) who are capable students but who cannot seem to hand in assignments on time, keep their backpacks orderly, or their notes current. "The guys just don't seem to develop the skills that involve organization as early," explained psychologist Judith Kleinfeld.


The boy crisis may be an artifact of our weakened families, or our feminized school environments, or Take Your Daughter to Work Day, or all of the above. But as the mother of three sons, that messy backpack with crumpled math homework due last week really resonated. The Civil Rights Commission can do us all a favor by going away. Bring on the organization gurus!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles