Is Separation the Solution? A Convening to Discuss the Theory and Practice of Gender-Based School Reforms for At-Risk Students of Color


Is Separation the Solution?: A Convening to Discuss the Theory and Practice of Gender-Based School Reforms for At-Risk Students of Color

May 6-7, UCLA School of Law

In recent years, single-sex education has been promoted as a critical intervention to target achievement disparities and related challenges facing boys of color. While the prevalence of single-sex education has steadily declined throughout the nation as a whole, single-sex classrooms have re-emerged as an attractive option within initiatives such as My Brothers Keeper and other male empowerment programs. Gender-separated interventions have been premised on the assumption that boys and girls of color face distinct disparities, and that these unique challenges are best approached by distinctly gendered approaches to education.   

This convening will bring together researchers, practitioners, advocates and philanthropic partners to explore the rise of gender-separate approaches to public education reform.  Among the central questions to be considered are: What conceptions of racial justice and gender difference underwrite the move to gender-separate solutions to low-achievement?   Are there gender disparities in private and public resources being made available to address the needs of boys of color and girls of color?  If so, how can this problem be addressed?  What legal issues are raised by the proliferation of single-sex classes and schools, and how can we ensure that Title IX and constitutional protections are enforced?  What role should philanthropy and community engagement play in elevating the values of  race and gender equity in contemporary school reform?