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Forum on Public Policy Online, v2008 n2 Sum 2008

The No Child Left Behind legislation has brought greater attention to the academic performance of American youth. Its emphasis on student achievement requires a closer analysis of assessment data by school districts. To address the findings, educators must seek strategies to remedy failing results. In a mid-Atlantic district of the Unites States, the failing of male students was manifested on the statewide assessment as follows: Of the thirty-five schools serving grades 9 through 12, thirty schools or 86% showed boys scoring lower than girls in reading, and twenty-one schools or 60% showed boys scoring lower than girls in mathematics. Seeking a possible solution to the failing of the male students in the school district resulted in uncovering valuable research on how and why boys learn the way they do. These data also offer suggestions and strategies for educators and parents that will lead to greater academic success for male students. The proposed organizational solution was to apply for public charter school funding to establish an all-boys school, with an emphasis on athletics (an area of interest for boys). Athletics was to be the strategy for getting the boys hooked on academic rigor. The school was identified as the Capital City Collegiate Sports Academy (the academy). Preparation for such an undertaking required background information on the following: (1) charter schools, (2) single-sex schools, (3) learning theories, (4) brain research, (5) curriculum and instruction innovation, and (6) the sports industry. Additionally, a school plan was developed in accordance with the public charter schools' organization guidelines. The academy school plan includes (1) a statement of need, (2) the population, (3) the mission statement, (4) the philosophy, (5) the school goals, (6) the curricular offerings, and (7) the governance structure. The results of this proposed solution are futuristic. However, what has been discovered in the planning stages for the academy should prove invaluable in developing a sound research-based instructional program to meet the academic needs of male students. Moreover, the curricular approach should result in these male students' personal fulfillment as productive, contributing members of society.

Descriptors: Males, Academic Achievement, Gender Differences, High School Students, School Districts, Reading Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, Charter Schools, Athletics, Single Sex Schools, Learning Theories, Brain, Curriculum, Educational Innovation, Educational History, United States History, Cognitive Style, Parent Role, Community Role

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Autor: Jackson, Barbara Talbert


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