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.