First we were asked to get all hysterical because girls were getting short shrift in the classroom--naturally requiring all sorts of adjustments to be made. Then we were told, Wait! No! now the boys are being left behind, necessitating a whole different set of adjustments. Well, there's a new study out today suggesting that maybe gender isn't so much the issue as...wait for it...family income. Turns out that students from households with incomes under $37,000 tend to have more trouble with math and reading. Imagine that!
Since the group doing the resesarch, the United American Association of University Women, is a nonprofit aimed at promoting education equity for women, we should obviously scrutinize the findings for any whiff of bias. (These are the folks, after all, who brought us the 1992 report "How Schools Shortchange Girls.") But if everything is indeed kosher, can we please stop channeling money and resources to a particular gender and stop organizing single-sex classes for the benefit of a particular gender and just generally stop wailing about the "boys' crisis" and the "girls' crisis" long enough to figure out what in the hell to do about the fact that, male or female, poor kids are still getting left behind?