Friday, July 9, 2010

ACLU Action Alert/ concerns about single gender schools

Speak Out Against Sex-Segregated Public Schools in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh School Board Public Hearing
Monday, July 12, 7:00 p.m.
341 S. Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh

To register to speak at the public hearing call the district superintendent's office at 412-622-3600 by noon on Monday, July 12.

As part of a larger East End reorganization plan, the Pittsburgh School Board is considering turning Westinghouse High School into two sex-segregated academies for 6-12 grade students.

The ACLU has serious concerns about the implementation of this plan, and we need you to speak up for gender equity in education while there's still time.

The school board has given the public less than a month to weigh in on the proposed changes and is set to vote on the plan on Wednesday, July 21.

We need you to make your voice heard at the next public hearing of the Pittsburgh School Board this Monday, July 12, at 7:00 p.m.

This will be the last public hearing before the board votes on these controversial changes and it is imperative that the board hears from residents, parents and advocates that segregating our schools is not a real (or legal) solution to improving our kids' education.

Sex-segregation in public education is unconstitutional, perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes, and ends up depriving both girls and boys of the benefits of co-education. Creating sex-segregated schools and classrooms diverts resources from initiatives that have been proven effective in improving the education of both boys and girls – such as reducing class sizes and increasing teacher training. Rather than offering choice, sex-segregated programs limit the education of both boys and girls.

Find more information on sex-segregated schools and the harmful assumptions that shape the curricula and teaching methods on the ACLU website.

To register to speak at the public hearing, call the district superintendent's office at 412-622-3600 by noon on Monday, July 12.

For questions or more information, contact the ACLU-PA Pittsburgh office at: 412-681-7736 or


Anonymous said...

I heard that another principal for Westinghouse has already been hired. So much for public comment.

Anonymous said...

Two links from the ACLU site pointing out the lack of evidence for a benefit and some of the claims/"techniques" used to train teachers to teach single sex classes:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes they forget the step of pretending to listen to parents and community -- easy to do when it has no effect on their plans.

soaked said...

interesting to see where each boardmember falls on the issue of single gender schools. If it is still true that Mrs. Colaizzi is opposed to the idea of kids wearing uniforms how should she be expected to vote on single gender? If the issue is something which you feel strongly about there are options for you, both with and without other compromises (religious?). My issue is bigger. I think we have TOO MANY SOLUTIONS in progress at one time. We have institutional ADD.

Hilly said...

I am not the greatest fan of the ACLU, but they really are correct here.

Public schools simply cannot discriminate, regardless of what studies show.

After all, suppose some study showed that Asian-Americans did better when grouped exclusively with other Asian-Americans.

Should an all-Asian-American school then be opened?

Questioner said...

It doesn't even seem like the studies show single gender produces consistently better results.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Has anyone complained that single-sex schools might promote homosexuality? (Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.)

Anonymous said...


Questioner said...

Of course, going to a single gender school isn't going to make anyone gay.

Many women's colleges do rank high on lists of schools providing supportive environments for gay students. The important thing is that women attending these colleges have a true choice, which is not exactly the case for the Westinghouse feeder since the mixed gender schools will take much more effort to reach than the single gender schools.