Single-sex Education Task Force

Separating boys and girls in the classroom may seem like a good way to ensure that the needs of both groups are being met, but in fact separation serves neither group well. Evidence of the benefits of single-sex education is sketchy at best, while the stereotyping that typically accompanies teaching in separate classrooms can create an environment that stifles learning for both boys and girls.

Both the U.S. Constitution and Title IX limit the separation of students by gender in publicly funded educational programs and activities. Although Title IX regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education in 2006 opened the door to some single-sex education, gender separation requires a strong justification, and discrimination based on sex is still unlawful.

Single-sex programs often violate the law by failing to offer equal educational opportunity. Moreover, the rationale for separation is often based on flawed notions about gender differences in brain development and learning. Schools and districts that are thinking about single-sex education as a means of improving teaching and learning should be mindful of the pitfalls of such programs, as well as of their limited value.

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