Are Single Sex Classes the Solution?

Same sex or single sex classes refer to classes that are made up of either all boys or all girls. Are same sex classes a solution to educating today’s children? Because some private schools believe single sex classrooms are successful, more public schools are looking into it. Large cities such as New York (with nine single sex public schools), Chicago, Dallas, Settle, and Washington D.C. have started a trend. Recently a Milwaukee School Board also approved the addition of a single sex school to its education system. Other cities considering the addition are Miami, Atlanta, and Cleveland. Nationally, there are 253 public schools offering same sex classes and 51 schools that have entirely same sex classes.

Negative comments about having classes that are single sex include that schools should be focused on methods to improve the teaching and education instead of dividing boys and girls. Other critics say that the schools are just using the children for social experiments. According to the American Association of University of Women, single sex classrooms are not focusing on the real problems such as lowering student teacher ratios and increasing funding. Some worry that we are retreating back to the “separate but equal” issue faced so many years ago.

One girl in same sex classes commented that she enjoyed not having to worry about boys. She stated that the boys are usually only nuisances to the class.

Until recently, the U.S. Department of Education only allowed same sex classes in special circumstances such as gym and sex education. Now same sex classes have been opened up to any class that a school feels will improve achievement. Enrollment in these classes must be voluntary. It is predicted that there could be over 5,000 single sex classes over the next twenty years.

I see some situations when perhaps single sex classrooms would be beneficial to create more a stable, less distractive learning environment. However, I do wonder if it is mandatory that the teacher be of the same sex as the class. I feel that a man should not be in a room full of girls and a woman should not be in a room full of boys. If many schools go to having all single sex classes, will there be enough male teachers to fill all of the boy classes?

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