Struggling Boys On The Way To The Workplace

What’s up with our boys? We’ll look at the classroom gap between boys and girls, and what it may ultimately mean in the workplace.

President Barack Obama gestures during an event in the East Room of the White House to promote his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Washington. New reports suggest that young men in American schools are falling dramatically behind their female classmates. (AP)

President Barack Obama gestures during an event in the East Room of the White House to promote his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Washington. New reports suggest that young men in American schools are falling dramatically behind their female classmates. (AP)

For years now we’ve heard the drumbeat.  American girls advancing on American boys in school.  Then girls surpassing boys.  Now girls get more A grades.  Seventy percent of high school valedictorians – girls.  A lot more girls – young women – going to and completing college.  Now, all eyes are on the American workplace.  Is it next for this trend?  If school has become less a field of triumph for boys, will the workplace follow?  Will empowerment of women and a changing school and workplace world mean males to the rear?  This hour On Point:  boys and school, and the coming American workforce.

- Tom Ashbrook


Jim Kessler, co-founder and senior vice president for policy at Third Way. (@ThirdWayKessler)

Peg Tyre, education reporter. Author of “The Trouble With Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School and What Parents and Educators Must Do” and “The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids The Education They Deserve.” (@pegtyre)

David Autor, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: A Link Between Fidgety Boys and a Sputtering Economy – “In an economy that rewards knowledge, the academic struggles of boys turn into economic struggles. Men’s wages are stagnating. Men are much more likely to be idle — neither working, looking for work nor caring for family — than they once were and much more likely to be idle than women.”

Third Way: The Secret Behind College Completion: Girls, Boys, and The Power of Eighth Grade Grades — “To see into the future, look at 8th grade. If an 8th grader gets As and Bs in school, that student will likely earn a college degree. If that same student gets only Bs and Cs, college completion is unlikely. That is one of the stunning conclusions from authors Thomas A. DiPrete and Claudia Buchmann in their report on gender, mobility, and college attainment.

Slate: What Happens to Boys Who Fall Behind? They Become Men Who Can’t Catch Up. — “Kindergarten girls are attentive, persistent, well-behaved, flexible, sensitive, and independent. Kindergarten boys are hyperactive, distracted, unruly, obnoxious, and clingy. American women are earning 75 percent more college degrees than they did in 1975 and 35 percent more money. American men are over.”

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