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A single-sex school is a school that accepts boys or girls exclusively. This has been the traditional situation for independent schools, especially public schools and grammar schools in the United Kingdom, but many of these have now become coeducational. The number of single-sex state schools has fallen from nearly 2,500 to just over 400 in 40 years. According to Alan Smithers, Professor of Education at Buckingham University, there was no evidence that single-sex schools were consistently superior. In Hong Kong, where 10 per cent of schools are single-sex, girls appeared to do better. But in Belgium, where co-educational schools are in the minority, boys and girls who study together get the best results.[1]

However, in the Middle East in most schools it is necessary for schools to be single-sex schools. Each school accepts boys or girls exclusively.

In the United States, single-sex public schools are in many cases considered unconstitutional, for similar reasons against racial segregation in schools before the civil rights movement. Equal but separate is viewed to never be possible.[2] However, new federal rules introduced in October 2006 allow districts to create single-sex schools and classes as long as enrollment is voluntary. The number of public schools exclusively for boys or girls in the United States rose from 3 in 1995 to 241 in 2006, according to Leonard Sax, executive director of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education.[3]

In Australia, the proportion of students from independent schools attending single-sex schools, dropped from 31% in 1985 to 24% in 1995. In secondary schools, 55% of boys and 54% of girls went to single-sex schools, in 1985. However by 1995 the proportion attending single-sex secondary schools had dropped to 41% of boys and 45% of girls.[4]

Islamic countriesEdit

In places where sharia is the law students attend sex-segregated public schools. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, sex-segregated public schools have been in place since the Islamic Revolution.[5]

In some areas of Pakistan, policies that require single-sex schools may limit girls' opportunities, when, as a result of such policies, only schools for boys are established.[6]

New Systems Adopting Single-Sex EducationEdit

In February 2008, Greene County School District in Greensboro, Georgia voted to implement a system-wide conversion to single sex academies. The superintendent plans to renovate the existing middle school to accommodate the new girl's academy, as of yet the two schools proposed to house the separate academies do not have equitable facilities. The academies are to be up and running by August 2008 [7]. "We decided to go to single gender for one reason and one reason only…to help kids get across the finish line," said Greene County Superintendent Shawn Arevalo McCollough, on an interview with the American media. "The facts are when you implement single gender classrooms, you have an increase in test scores and achievement and a decrease in teen pregnancy and discipline rates," he believed. However, the new federal rules introduced in October 2006 only allow single-sex schools and classes to be implemented if students voluntarily enroll into the new gender separated system. Since Greene County does not currently offer alternative public schooling, there is still some question as to the legality of the superintendent's decision.

See also Edit

References Edit

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