Saturday, December 14, 2013

Girls' Growing Advantage on PISA Tests

There is a long history of academic articles and social commentary on boys' advantage on tests in math and science. Two low points: the Barbie doll who chirped "Math class is tough!" and Larry Summer's off-the-cuff, uninformed opinions on why there are not more women in science.

Girls have now caught up with boys on math and science in many tests, including the PISA, which was released last week. At least one article pointed out that, in the US, there is no longer a gender gap in math and science scores.

I saw no articles on a much more striking result: girls' advantage on reading scores is absolutely enormous. This gender gap is much, much larger than the math gap was ten years ago.

When do we get a Ken doll whining "Literacy is hard?" Will pundits soon enlighten us as to why boys are intrinsically unmotivated to read?