SUSSEX — The High Point Regional High School Board of Education recently heard a presentation from Kory Loyola and Thomas Ryan shows boys were not doing as well as the girls in academic classes at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Loyola an Ryan urged the board to take action and to amend the methods of teaching used at the school.
In the past 7 to 8 years, Loyola and Ryan noticed a trend that High Point boys struggling more than their female counterparts so they started keeping numerical track of their performance. This trend is not unique to High Point, however, and it is a national issue affecting every demographic.
The statistics presented bolstered these claims, notably in Advanced Placement classes, class rank, and National Honor Society inductees.
Students choosing to take AP classes are split with 58 percent girls and 42 percent boys. Larger gaps were seen in class ranking. The girls who earn a place in the top 25 of their class account for 67 percent of the students. The largest gap occurs in National Honor Society inductees, which are 74 percent female.
Loyola and Ryan said these gaps are not due to an imbalance in gender populations. High Point only has eight more girls than boys, which is not enough for a significant alteration of statistics.
They said this achievement gap is due to a curriculum that is too “test-driven” and does not take different learners into account. They call for a change in teaching styles that focus less on standardized tests and more on ensuring that all types of learners have a chance to succeed.
“Changing the teaching strategies will improve learning, for everybody,” said Board of Education Member Deborah Anderson. “We will be producing students that are learning, not students that can take a test.”
They said that this new initiative will produce better learners who, in turn, will perform better on tests. This is a different strategy than focusing first, and primarily, on standardized tests, and neglecting to cater to different types of learners and different types of students.