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More boys than girls getting into elite NYC public schools … this must not stand

More boys than girls getting into elite NYC public schools … this must not stand

Boys are getting destroyed at just about every level of the educational spectrum relative to girls, and are keeping away from liberal arts colleges like they’re running from the grim reaper (which is not that bad an analogy considering the hard core feminist agenda at most liberal arts colleges).

But boys still rule math and the hard sciences, and that is an abomination in the eyes of the educational PC police, via NY Times, Girls Excel in the Classroom but Lag in Entry to 8 Elite Schools in the City:

In the United States, girls have outshined boys in high school for years, amassing more A’s, earning more diplomas and gliding more readily into college, where they rack up more degrees — whether at the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels.

STOP right there.  No one seems to be upset about boys falling behind.  But we continue …

But that has not been the trend when it comes to one of the highest accomplishments a New York City student can achieve: winning a seat in one of the specialized high schools.

At all eight of the schools that admit students based on an eighth-grade test, boys outnumber girls, sometimes emphatically.

Boys make up nearly 60 percent of the largest and most renowned schools, Stuyvesant, the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Tech, and as much as 67 percent at the High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College, according to city statistics.


The fact that girls are underrepresented in New York’s top high schools, which tend to be focused on math and science, and which have more than a dozen Nobel laureates among their alumni, worries some academics who see the schools as prime breeding grounds for future scientists and engineers.

Cart before horse.  Cause and effect.  If a girl can’t get into Bronx High School of Science based on objective test scores, what’s the likelihood she’ll be a Nobel Laureate?

To Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education policy group, the gap at the elite schools could be as elemental as their perception as havens for science, technology, engineering or math, making them a natural magnet for boys, just as girls might gravitate to schools known for humanities.

“I don’t think you’re looking at discrimination here,” said Mr. Finn ….


Math is hard.  And it doesn’t discriminate.  Get over it.


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And thus the evils of affirmative action are underlined.

The basic facts remain and they include; half the world is smarter than the other half, half will dominate the other half (in the end analysis) etc.

With this in mind, rational thinking would suggest that the best and brightest should lead, defend care for those that cannot do so.

Enter programs like AA and all gets tossed aside and turned upside down so that the dominated can “fell good.” A programmed march to the dumbing down process begins and a strong nation fades…

If a girl wants to be in the math and sciences fine. If they don’t, FINE. Don’t let girls/blacks/gays/lesbians/hispanics/transgenders/low income individuals in just because of their perceived “minority” or other statuses. We should be supporting meritocracy not this affirmative action equal outcomes crap.

    MicahStone in reply to heimdall. | March 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Careful, heimdall. According to lunatic-left extremist ideology, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/SPECIAL TREATMENT trumps everything else and is the ONLY acceptable admissions policy for academia. Why, without that, the would wouldn’t have OBOZO – so you’re NOT ALLOWED to question such a sacred right.

Interesting evolution of modern education: “the Humanities” have very little to do anymore with the humanities, but math continues to be about math. The implacable truth of math — it really seems to bother the Left.

“Math is hard. And it doesn’t discriminate.” – this is true. However, that means either society or genetics (or both) are guilty of discrimination. And of course must be punished, with a affirmative-action plan put in place.

Reminds me of how the Soviets were set back decades in biology, because the idea of evolution was rejected and Lysenkoism was the official required belief-system.

In 20 years, when 60% of the engineers are female (because one must over-compensate for past history of discrimination), and so the average American engineer isn’t as good as her Asian or European or African counterpart, please don’t wonder why all the engineering jobs move overseas.

But at least we’ll have achieved sexual equality in the design of life-critical products – airplanes, buildings, vehicles, medical equipment, etc. Even if they will be more dangerous for the women using them.

I sometimes really have to laugh – and this is something that even the Onion couldn’t have dreamed up.

While we pursue impose “diversity”, the Chinese are researching the genetic basis of human talents, including intelligence.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | March 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Professor Mark Perry, one of my favorite bloggers who I’ve mentioned a few times, linked to the study below conducted by the Association for Psychological Science.

According to the study, women who are qualified to enter STEM career fields often CHOOSE not to. It seems many qualified women just don’t want to be scientists. Without role models or even lacking a desire in high school to be scientists, maybe the girls who could get into a prestigious science high school just don’t bother because they are not into math and science.

    In school & university, I beat most (sometimes all) of the boys in math & science grades. I thought I should do something involving math or science because it seemed like the most serious and admirable way to employ my brain and effort. But then I realized it felt wrong; my heart wasn’t in it. Maybe it wasn’t girly enough. Anecdotal evidence suggests that my experience is not uncommon.

    Back then, I considered science and math careers to be open to me and never felt that anyone was trying to discourage me. That’s even more so today, and yet the bien pensants think they need to run ad campaigns telling girls that science and tech careers are a possibility for them — as if they somehow didn’t know. The bien pensants are actually trying to push and prod girls in a direction their natural inclination may not be pointing them.

Hi, Professor Jacobson. I am a long-time lurker and love your blog. This topic compelled me to enroll to comment. I am a female engineer ((Electrical Engineering) who has been employed as a technical staff engineer for more than 32 years (space and launch vehicle business). During this time, I have witnessed so many efforts to get girls interested in math, science and engineering and have participated in countless STEM activities, many focused on girls only, and sometimes minority girls. When the girls are in elementary school (earlier than grade 6), most of them will enthusiastically raise their hands when asked if they like math and science. When they are a little older (middle school), only about half claim interest. By high school age, very few are interested. I blame social stigmas (excelling in math and science is still considered geeky and I was ostracized socially due to my interest), plus I do lend credence to the “bell curve” analyses that show lower aptitudes for the hard sciences for women (the thing that got Larry Summers fired from Harvard). After all these years and millions of dollars spent on these programs, the enrollment rates in engineering for girls have actually declined in many engineering fields. I agree with the commenters above – math is irreducible and will not yield to social engineering. If it is forced, we will all suffer the consequences.

    1. I blame social stigmas (excelling in math and science is still considered geeky and I was ostracized socially due to my interest), plus I do lend credence to the “bell curve” analyses that show lower aptitudes for the hard sciences for women (the thing that got Larry Summers fired from Harvard).

    Makes sense to me. We as a society may come to regret our efforts to substitute equal outcomes for equal opportunity.

    Or maybe we won’t regret it as we stumble cluelessly into a historical dead end or worse. Heaven forfend.

    2. Welcome, rubysue! Please share more of your thinking.

    Reminds me of cases where bright girls back in high school tried to “act dumb” because they thought that the men they were interested in would be intimidated by their intellect.

    One girl was actually encouraged to behave this way by her mother, made me sick to hear about.

    In truth, the intelligent and capable men that women find attractive are not intimidated by capable women, we find such women very attractive. Only a stupid many would be attracted to a stupid woman.

    Girls who are given the cold shoulder by their supposed peers shouldn’t feel too bad about it. Being ostracised by your inferiors is a good thing, you don’t have to put up with their vapid nonsense. Acting like a buffoon in order to fit in with buffoons makes about as much sense as trying to act like a monkey while walking through a jungle. Far better to step up your pace and leave the jungle behind.

    Milwaukee in reply to rubysue. | March 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    ” I blame social stigmas (excelling in math and science is still considered geeky and I was ostracized socially due to my interest)”

    That “social stigmatizing” thing goes both ways. I recall a study I saw not long ago where they showed young women pictures of two different computer labs. Actually, it was the same lab. In one there were empty Coke cans and obvious remains of pizza boxes. The other was tidy and decorated, without trash. The women generally preferred the tidier one, the one without the Coke cans and empty pizza boxes. Somehow it came out that the women didn’t like the engineering\computer programming\geek environment, not the mathematics. How or why the women came to dislike that environment wasn’t questioned, just that most women didn’t like it.

    If engineering and science and auto shops are a sort of environment most women don’t want to be in, we can’t force the issue.

    If a woman has the skills to succeed in those environments, she may very well have additional skills which will allow her to excel in other areas as well. Perhaps those women are just being successful somewhere else.

A famous (to me) incident in law school…

In a “Psychology Of Communications” class taught by a PhD psychologist, he committed the sin of observing that men and women communicate differently (!).

This prompted complaints from the 25 year old liberal arts graduates to the law school dean. This was heresy!

Men’s and women’s brains are wired differently. Sorry. It is a really fine adaptation that makes us MORE adaptable as a species.

The Collective will just have to get over it.

Men & women are different!

Shit! I knew that before I was a teenager!!!!

Margaret Sherwood wrote “Our Fear of Excellence” in 1928. This passage could apply today:

“Even in institutions of higher learning, if I may so designate our colleges, the young are,as a rule, ashamed of intellectual distinction, concealing any unusual interest in things of the mind, feeling that they have disgraced their families if they win Phi Betta Kappa, biding artistic ability as if it were a sign of shame. There is certainly an idea abroad among us in America, and especially astir in the hearts of the young, that to see a bit farther, to hold one’s standard a bit higher than one’s fellows, is not being a good sport, as if some advantage were being taken in the great game. He who betrays finer appreciation or unusual insight is as one playing with marked cards.”

    Tortuga in reply to gasper. | March 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

    So that’s why nobody has ever heard of her. My son graduated at 16 as did two of his 3 best friends. The most disrespect he ever received was ” you lucky yada yada….” My two daughters dropped out of HS and did the ged thing, and the disrespect they received was, ” see ya”. All did some post HS learning and are above average now. Constant attention to and encouragement to excel wherever their current “status” is what made the difference, IMHO.

      gasper in reply to Tortuga. | March 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      I use a comment to make a broad statement and you narrow it to a personal experience. What I was thinking of was the high school who cancelled their awards ceremony so they wouldn’t offend the kids who didn’t receive awards, or playing games where there is no winner so no one ever loses. The Professor’s article essentially deals with that same issue. Liberals are making the rules, you can believe one of those rules is conservatives are at fault for those who don’t advance. Of course we’re proud of our and our children’s achievements, but the liberals are trying to even the playing field and make everyone an achiever, whether they deserve it or not.

        They’ve been trying to do this for over a century now. Once upon a time, they believed that universal education would make everyone equal. Instead it merely illuminated the inherent inequality of human beings.

        When human beings are judged and graded by objective criteria of achievement and performance, profound differences emerge. They discovered that education can’t fix broken people. Education doesn’t help the impaired, only the intelligent.

        So now of course, the leftards work tirelessly to undermine and eliminate objective standards of assessment, often under the completely irrational claim that such criteria are “racist.” I say this claim is irrational because it is not possible to craft a test of the mind that is influenced by the skin color of the test taker.

        Leftists are fools and liars, and the world will be a far better place if and when we find a way to rid ourselves of them.

In their rush to react, they rejected the inconvenience of nature, and selected nurture as the comfortable, emotionally appealing argument. Unfortunately, in the process, they also managed to denigrate the dignity of around half the human population. Actually, the whole human population. Each man and woman has a unique dignity, which guides (but does not determine) their development.

Men and women have biologically motivated perspectives of our world. While the outcome is not universal, it is the rule for men and women. Our actions, motivations, and thereby capability are regulated by our perspective.

The generational feminists have exploited an exceedingly shallow perspective and argument to support their cause. It’s astounding (and impressive) just how effective their simple judgment has been to distort our government, culture, and individual expectations.

I went to engineering school and was very successful. Fewer than 10% of my fellow classmates were women, but we were all at the top or very near the top of our high school class. I think women think we have to be better students to go engineering school than men believe they have to be. A lot of “B” students succeed quite well in engineering school because the skill set needed to be an engineer is really quite different than the skill set needed to be an “A” student in the standard classroom setting. But it’s hard to convince a girl a “B” in algebra doesn’t rule out a career in engineering or the sciences.

Thank your for this post, professor.

I think the multiculti crowd should stop having vapors over males dominating the sciences and maths, and do some hand-wringing over the fact that there aren’t “equal numbers” of females working on garbage trucks, or as auto mechanics, lumberjacks, sewer cleaners or tower climbers.

Obviously we need some Firmative Akshin maths and sciences to even things out.

After all, it worked so well for edjumacation.

it is worse than you think- i have 2 sons- one a graduate of a highly rated E school- the other attending the same institution. When they were in high school they were interested in attending a summer enrichment program in engineering- but as white boys there were none in the state that would allow them in (a large east coast state). One attended a program at the Naval academy which had some engineering the other one had to go out of state to find a program. I don’t mind outreach to under represented groups, but at least throw a bone to interested white children as well. It was NOT a money issue, I was able to & eager to pay for a chance for them to learn more about engineering. Additionally, if you look at NSF awards for postgrad work in engineering you will see that a disproportionate amount of it going to women- I don’t think it is an accident nor merit based.

    Tortuga in reply to mlmc. | March 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Reverse discrimination has been and is, afact of life for working class white males . Luckily, where there is work to be done, it works in our favor.

      Reverse discrimination is a leftist lie. Invalid discrimination is invalid discrimination. Which individuals are getting the short end of the stick is irrelevant. When you describe some examples of invalid discrimination as “reverse discrimination” instead of just discrimination, you are helping the leftists who want us to see everything through the prisms of race, color, surname, sex, etc, etc, etc.

      If someone is invalidly discriminated against because he is a white guy, that isn’t “reverse discrimination,” but just discrimination period.

Why no file a series of “disparate impact” law suites over boy’s poorer outcomes in high school. The way to overcome affirmative action is to, Alinsky style, make it apply to its politically incorrect victims.

I can’t find the most recent hard numbers on admissions to Stuyvesant High School in NYC. It is one of the preeminent STEM high schools with competitive admission. That’s another “problem” for the AA lefties. Here are some percentages from a recent year:

(wiki) the 2010 academic year, the student body was approximately 72.05% Asian and 23.55% Caucasian, 1.21% African American and 2.43% Hispanic.[6]

The school has ~3000 students. For NYC residents only.

So Asian males would really be problematical.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to JAL. | March 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Asian males are highly problematical for the Left. I’m a baby-boomer. My father immigrated to this country from China at the start of the Depression; alone, 12 years old, not speaking English. Given that Chinese were not legally human beings [literally] in this country until 1943; that pretty much defines disadvantaged. He learned English as a teen, worked his way up to a decent living, and in 1943 when we became human in the eyes of American law, he joined the Army and earned his citizenship with Patton’s Third Army.

    Before he died, he had owned and sold several businesses and was able to retire and fish for the last years of his life.

    I was lucky enough to be born here. As I was growing up, my dad told me that to get the same rewards as a white person, I had to work 3 times as hard. I encountered more than a little prejudice, and some physical violence [and two attempts to kill me], based on darker skin, epicanthic folds, and good grades. This peaked as I graduated high school, and mostly came from what would be considered rednecks today. The Left ignored us Chinese.

    As more Chinese students, from Taiwan and eventually the mainland, came over; suddenly being Chinese became fashionable. And the Left loved us, and expected us to be good sheep and hate whites. And it seemed that the “3x as hard” became easier. By the early 1990’s, suddenly we were enemies of the people according to the Left, because we were not part of the dependent class. And the descendents of those who forced me to carry a gun in high school in Nebraska suddenly developed an appreciation for achievers.

    Now, being an Asian male who achieves means that you are deliberately oppressing those who don’t, and must be punished. Being an Asian female achiever means you are on the cutting edge. In one generation we have gone from being hated by the far Right to being hated by the Left. All for the sin of actually working and achieving.

    Subotai Bahadur

retrophoebia | March 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Janet Hyde, cited in this article, was also addressed previously at this site: for making numerically absurd assertions about performance and potential gaps between boys and girls.

At least, La Griffe put forward what I considered a convincing argument (continued from his last post on the matter).

Goes to show that these popular misconceptions just don’t die, even in the face of evidence and facts.

Those of us who are of a certain age have heard the expression “Didn’t your mother ever teach you to come in out of the rain?” Dads teach kids stuff, like if something needs to be done and it is raining, put on a hat and get it done. Women and men are so wired differently in their perceptions of the world that it is hilarious.

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