Monday, February 8, 2010

Number of girls declining in our selective science high schools

Much attention has been given in the media and on this blog to the declining number of black and Hispanic students admitted to the specialized science high schools in NYC, with only seven black students admitted out of 958 at Stuyvesant, and only 17 Hispanics, at this, the most selective of our schools.

Yet so far ignored is the fact that the percentage of girls has significantly declined at most of these schools as well over the last four years. Only Brooklyn Tech has had a stable female student population. (Click on the charts to the right and below.)

This is very strange since it goes against all national trends.
Moreover, it is even more hard to explain since admissions to these schools relies on the results of one very high-stakes exam, and NYC girls do far better on both the math and English state exams than boys – particularly at the middle school level. This is true whether one is looking at average scale scores or percent scoring at level four (most advanced.)
Have an explanation or even a guess? If so, please leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

I have 4 daughters. They all attended a local High School that had a specialized program ( Institute) for Humanities and the Sciences. 3 of them opted for the sciences. They traveled less than two miles a day, had hundreds of clubs and team sports to choose from and had time to do charity work and maintain employment.

To travel to a specialized HS is costly, timely and reduces a students ability to engage in activities due to the distance.

One daughter is in a top tier engineering college on 3 school scholarships because of the quality of education she received in the classroom. She had Earth science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Science Research, AP Biology, Ap Environmental Science as well as strong supportsw in the humanities and music and arts. Another daughter had the same and also had mechanical design and an internship in Architecture.

Bottom line is that the students that have what they need in their community, do not need to travel, but to engage in their activities, education and community.

Luckily- we have what we need and everyone was college ready for top schools and a strong balance of community experience.

Shino said...

I would like to know the number of girls who took the test. Such numbers should be available to the DOE. I wish this data-driven administration would use the data in a meaningful way rather than in an effort to penalize educators, parents and children.

Anonymous said...

There's no way of knowing unless you compare these numbers to how many girls have been offered places, and how many girls take the test. Either fewer girls elect to take the test, fewer girls do well on the test, or fewer girls elect to take the places offered. My daughter got in to Bronx Science, but chose to go to Bard - she was more interested in the humanities, and wanted a small school.