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Working Class Past Inspires All Girls School

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In the article, Working Class Past Inspires Head of All-girls High School, in its 6th Year, the author Mark J. Konkol, mentioned some of the positive points of an all-girls school. I have to question whether public money is being wisely spent on a learning environment that does not simulate the experiences those students will have throughout their lives. Spending private money on a single gender education shouldn't be challenged but public money should be spent the most effective and efficient way possible. I believe educating students in a single gender school puts them at a disadvantage.

Mr. Konkol points out that the principal believes the all-girl environment gives her students less social pressure in the classroom. She cites sexual harassment and the boys looking at them, or making comments, as creating learning distractions for her students. I think she misses the point that both the boys and her students need to be well rounded. Higher education, the workplace, and interactions in society are all normally dual gendered environments, being successful in those settings require social skills developed and tested over a lifetime. Students require both a social education as well as the curriculum normally taught in schools. Both sexes in a coed environment need to learn how to positively interact with the opposite sex. Given the awkwardness of the teenage years, it seems to take longer for a person to become comfortable and confident in interacting with the opposite sex. There has to be a disadvantage to those in single-sex schools who are denied years of learning experiences in overcoming those distractions.

The author mentions that the students at YWLCS have struggled on standardized tests, averaging 3.3 points below the state average on the A.C.T. Only 17 percent meet or exceed standards on the state proficiency tests. He makes the point that 79 percent of the school's freshman graduated in five years and 87 percent of the graduates went on to college, giving the school top ranking in the Chicago public school system. The top ranking is good, and I have to believe that is due in part to the camaraderie and drive to succeed demonstrated by the students and faculty. The fact still remains they are below average and haven't



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