With research at the ready, Windsor smells the ax that the authors have to grind and challenges them head-on.
Here’s Windsor’s encapsulation of the girls’ school experience:
“Single-sex schools do what co-educational environments often do not: they acknowledge gender. While this can seem a point seemingly so obvious that it is worth overlooking, it is vital. The difference a girls’ school provides a young woman is the open discussion and address of the distinct ways in which gender can affect learning as well as their social, personal, and professional experiences. This frank discussion reduces the likelihood of girls sheepishly succumbing to social expectation rather than reinforcing stereotypes. Girls who attend girls’ schools report more female role models, increased faculty interactions, and a greater focus on academic endeavors. The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools reports higher levels of academic achievement and confidence among girls at single-sex schools as compared to their co-ed peers. And, girls’ schools offer one very important outcome: the ability to evoke, encourage and establish self-agency. In girls’ schools, girls are given authority to make decisions, hold power and choose their own paths. As a result, they become self-reliant as opposed to reliant on others…
If relying solely on quantitative data such as test scores in the study of single-sex vs. co-educational education, the results might be disconcerting. But, these studies do not necessarily incorporate the real value provided by schools such as ours: We teach for the overall outcome – not simply the academic component, but the comprehensive development of young women who are prepared for leadership and life. Our success is measured more fully by our students’ optimization of the opportunities we provide…”(MPS)
My favorite tidbits from Windsor’s note:
“•Single-sex schools are not illegal. Title IX specifically allows single-sex public schools in grades K-12.
•The argument, that there is no more justification for sex segregation than there is for racial segregation has already been explicitly considered and firmly rejected both by the United States Supreme Court and by lower courts. To confuse the relationship and impact of racial segregation with the potential impact of separating boys and girls from each other in school defies metaphor. The former is imposed; the latter chosen. The former is separation on the basis of assigned degradation; the latter on the basis of a preferable option. The former is intended to limit reach; the later to expand reach. The former results in diminution; the latter enrichment. There is no comparison between the destruction of racism as separatism for the sake of removing people of color, and single-sex education whose goal is enlightenment and empowerment.”(MPS)