How do we prepare our boys in a verbally-oriented World?

The present recession in the US has been described as mancession as the jobs lost has nailed especially those in the manufacturing sector.

Detroit is the unfortunate poster child of serious right sizing with dire consequences for many. In this brave new global economy, most of these jobs will not be returning, and cash strapped locals are struggling to come up with innovative ways of retooling their citizens and restore a tax base.

Well, a new long term problem just landed in their lap. It has to do with the lagging of boys in their educational development.

Here is a summary of the findings done by some very talented folks.

The average high school grade point average is 3.09 for girls and 2.86 for boys. Boys are almost twice as likely as girls to repeat a grade.

Boys are twice as likely to get suspended as girls, and three times as likely to be expelled. Estimates of dropouts vary, but it seems that about one-quarter more boys drop out than girls.

Among whites, women earn 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees and 62 percent of master’s degrees. Among blacks, the figures are 66 percent and 72 percent.

In federal writing tests, 32 percent of girls are considered “proficient” or better. For boys, the figure is 16 percent.

There is one important exception: Boys still beat out girls at the very top of the curve, especially in math.

In the high school class of 2009, a total of 297 students scored a perfect triple-800 on the S.A.T., 62 percent of them boys, according to Kathleen Steinberg of the College Board. And of the 10,052 who scored an 800 in the math section, 69 percent were boys.

Some say that the “boy problem” is just a problem for members of minorities. But “Why Boys Fail” says that at the end of high school, among white boys who have at least one parent who attended college, 23 percent score “below basic” in reading. Only 7 percent of their female counterparts score that low.

Full report of education assessment

So let’s brainstorm a little about this. I grew up on the Hardy Books, and yes the Nancy Drew series. I read comics. For my kids, going to the library was associated to some treat. I would gladly pay for library fines. The librarians were our friends and books were the currency to bind the relationship.

New York Times Columnist NICHOLAS KRISTOF who has brought attention to this critical issue, also mentioned a website that provides reading resources for our boys. That site is

Let’s hear from you as to how we can improve the future of our kids. Our future depends on it!