KTM User Pages
24 Jan 2006 - 16:55
This is great! One thing led to another, and I discovered a blog written by an policy expert on postsecondary education:
I have now been pounding away on the problems of boys in education (especially higher education) since 1995 and I have nothing to show for it. Clearly talking about the scarcity of boys in college accomplishes little more than making people aware that it exists. For several years reporters (usually women, who like to write about this issue) have been challenging me: Okay, so what do we do about the problem? What do you recommend be done? I just don't know. As one who studies demography I can see that there is a serious problem. I only know that affirmative action for boys in college admissions could diminish opportunities for better prepared and motivated women. I oppose affirmative action for males because it addresses symptoms and not causes--although I am not sure what the causes are. So, after a fruitless decade where males continue to fall ever farther behind females, a messiah steps forward and agrees to lead a national effort to do something based on real science. And sure enough, as I had long suspected, it is a woman: Prof. Judith Kleinfeld of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Dr. Kleinfeld has written on the subject of males in education in the past. She is now organizing a national boys project and is gathering the kind of scientific talent that we might expect to provide answers to the question: Okay, so what should we do about the problem? This boys project will begin at the beginning: How are little boys different from little girls, and what does this mean for the educational experience we design for each? At last I can see a way to make progress on this terribly important issue.
good news, possibly First, the back story, from his post on Male Shares of Undergraduates by Family Income
The scarcity of males in higher education has strong class-based roots: males are under-represented compared to females by the largest margin at the lowest family income levels. As income rises the gap narrows. In this analysis we used data from five National Postsecondary Student Aid Studies (NPSAS) to examine the male shares of various undergraduate enrollments. The NPSAS studies used were for 1990, 1993, 1996, 2000 and 2004. Remember that males are about 51% of the college-age population. Among dependent undergraduates (students less than age 24) males were 47.0% of all undergraduate students in 2004. They were 48.3% in 1990, 48.6% in 1993, 47.4% in 1996 and 46.7% in 2000. By quartiles of parental income the male shares in 2004 were: 44.0% in the bottom quartile ($0 to $34,288), 45.3% in the second quartile ($34,289 to $62,240), 47.6% in the third quartile ($62,241 to $95,006), and 51.7% in the top quartile ($95,007 and over). Between 1990 and 2004 the male share of undergraduate enrollment declined by 1.5% in the bottom parental income quartile, by 2.3% in the second quartile, by 2.2% in the third quartile and by 0.8 percent in the top quartile. [ed.: I've read that the share of male college students in the top income quartile is decreasing, but maybe not]
Now the good news:
The only good news in these data is that the male share of black dependent undergraduate enrollments rose by 4.5% between 1990 and 2004. This was the only racial/ethnic group that experienced an increase and this increase occurred in all four quartiles of parental income. If blacks are the canaries in the coal mine on this issue then the turn around for dependent black males is a good omen since they led the original decline in male shares of undergraduate enrollments.
oh! These passages don't just come from 'some education policy analyst in Iowa.' This is Tom Mortenson's blog. I thought the name sounded familiar.
more from Mortenson on the gap
The National Center for Education Statistics has recently shared with me some as yet unpublished data on higher education degree awards for 2003-04 by degree level and state. These data continue to show women far outpacing men in bachelor's degrees: 804,117 for women compared to 595,425 for men. However, these new data suggest that since 2000 the boys may finally be waking up to the need to get a college education. The women continue to make extraordinary year-to-year gains in bachelor's and other degrees received. But since 2000, at last, the men seem to be making nearly comparable gains year-to-year. Between 2000 and 2004 the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to women increased by 96,609 (13.7%), while the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to men increased by 65,058 (12.2%). This may not look like progress. But between 1970 and 2000 the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to women increased by 366,289 (107.3%) while the number awarded to men increased by 79,270 (17.6%).
...between 1970 and 2000 the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to women increased by 366,289 (107.3%) while the number awarded to men increased by 79,270 (17.6%)
Now I need someone to tell me how much the population of college-aged people increased during that time period.
Business Week interview with Mortenson This is exactly what I've been thinking:
Q: About 20 years ago, there was a famous article in Newsweek about how women could pretty much kiss marriage goodbye if they hadn't walked down the altar by the age of 30. Of course, that turned out to be completely false. Much of the research the story was based on was discredited. But you believe that women could be in for store for a marriage squeeze -- a real one. Why? A: Black women are really the canaries in the coalmine on this. Put simply, I believe white women are headed to where black women are today. If white women want to see the future of what will happen if men aren't brought along through the educational system with them, they should listen to the problems among black women today. When I make presentations, I can see 95% of the women in the audience nodding to along to this, agreeing with me. I don't think some women -- and some gender feminists -- have fully thought through the idea of what it means to leave a generation of boys behind. And by the time this gender imbalance really hits whites, it will be too late. We're stuck back in the 1960s in terms of producing college-educated men.
USA Today report on 135:100 boys:girls ratio in college
sexism in Everyday Math
boy trouble (New Republic on boys)
slacker boys, middle school, & forbidden positive images of boys in textbooks
throw rocks at them
please remain seated at all times
Ann Althouse thread sums up classroom change
cooperative vs. competitive learning
the girl show (8th grade graduation awards)
the boy show (character ed)
the other boy show
Where the Boys Aren't
letter from Robert Lerner, former commissioner NCES
Tom Mortenson's research
The Boys Project board
for every 100 girls —
-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Jan 2006 Back to main page.
KtmGuest (password: guest) when prompted.
Please consider registering as a regular user.
Look here for syntax help.
Hi Catherine, "Now I need someone to tell me how much the population of college-aged people increased during that time period." There were 14.399 million in the '48-'52 live birth cohort (1970) and 14.416 in the '78-'82 live birth cohort (2000). In 1970 about 52% of the cohort graduated from high school and about 52% of those then entered college (the classic '1 in 4' ratio), in 2000 about 84% graduated high school (grade inflation, anyone) and 67% entered college (remedial 101 for the many). The M/F split in entries in '70 was 55.2 of the males and 48.5 of the females, in '98 it was 62.4 and 69.1 respectively. There are also an additional 3.4 college students who are outside the age range that you specified. -- RickBallard - 25 Jan 2006
Catherine, Here is an education stats source that appears better than the one from which I was quoting. -- RickBallard - 25 Jan 2006
Rick!!!! HI!!!!! IT'S GREAT TO SEE YOU!!!! -- CatherineJohnson - 25 Jan 2006
ooooh I hate to say it, but I'm not statistically literate enough yet to figure out what I want to know from this....(though maybe in the morning, when I'm fresh??) Do your statistics tell us whether we've seen an out-and-out (there's a statistical term for you) decline in white males going to college (and graduating)? Or have their numbers stayed the same, and girls have simply gone to college in greater numbers? -- CatherineJohnson - 25 Jan 2006
btw, I question the idea that upper quartile males are unfazed. The data on them strikes me as being analogous to the data on suburban schools, where the kids are doing so well thanks to high SES, tutors, afterschooling, etc. that problems in the school are masked. I've been seeing families where, yes, the boys are going to college....but their sisters are getting into better schools....things like that. In well-functioning families, it's nothing 'important'; the kids are in great shape. But the fact that I see a reversal of what was the case when I was young strikes me as meaningful.... -- CatherineJohnson - 25 Jan 2006
Hey, what happened to those Saxon problems you were going to work on tonight after "one more comment"? Or have their numbers stayed the same, and girls have simply gone to college in greater numbers? I think the answer to your question is in this quote from Rick: The M/F split in entries in '70 was 55.2 of the males and 48.5 of the females, in '98 it was 62.4 and 69.1 respectively. I read this as: In 1970, 55.2% of male high school graduates went to college, whereas in 1998, 62.4% of male high school graduates did so, so there was an increase. In 1970, 48.5% of female high school graduates went to college, whereas in 1998, 69.1% did so, so there was a bigger increase than there was for the males. -- GoogleMaster - 25 Jan 2006
I'll look at the stats tomorrow and see if I can come up with a theory or two - or three. There may be some economically rational decision making going on by the males. I don't like using '70 as a data point because one alternative to college in that year was an all expenses paid fun filled year abroad in South East Asia. Better IIS than dead was the impetus for quite a number of applications to college in those years. '76 is a better comparative. -- RickBallard - 25 Jan 2006
College is the new high school. Skills that should have been learned in high school are now being learned in college. These skills are more important in pink collar jobs than they are in blue collar jobs. Based on the stats Rick cited, too many kids are entering college today that don't belong there. We are well below the median student, so the flatter IQ curve of males (more dummies) is being reflected in the college admissions. That and the fact that at this level males have more opportunites in blue collar jobs, whereas many pink collar jobs now require a college credential, if not an actual degree. This jibes with the stat that men still dominate in the hard fields or science, math, and engineering and that most of the extra females in college opt for (dare I say standardless) soft BA fields. I like this Occam razor explanation and am not yet too concerned over the male/female college gap. -- KDeRosa - 25 Jan 2006
"College is the new high school. Skills that should have been learned in high school are now being learned in college. These skills are more important in pink collar jobs than they are in blue collar jobs." It has been drilled into everyone's head that you need a college education, as opposed to going to a vocational school. Supply is meeting demand at their level and there seems to be little concern that the quality of the supply is nothing better than extended high school. Interestingly, the vocational schools in our area have added distribution courses and are providing college degrees. Some of these schools are now vastly superior to many colleges. At best, having a degree from some colleges only means that you have a certain amount of money (or loans) and the ability to stick with something until the end. -- SteveH - 25 Jan 2006
It has been drilled into everyone's head that you need a college education, as opposed to going to a vocational school. Isn't Jr. College the new vocational school? And I say that as a compliment to Jr. College, which has 3 missions: 1) Remedy basic skills that should have been taught in High School. 2) Administer certificate programs in everthing from Accounting to Medical Equipment Operation. 3) Teach lower division classes for those who wish to transfer to a 4-yr school. At least based on my experience in California, Jr. College can be one of the most cost effective forns of public education. -- BenCalvin - 26 Jan 2006
OK, I have to get upstairs and finish TONIGHT'S SAXON....Rick, if you're around, have you looked at the stats again? I'm interested in whether there's an economically rational reason. That's what I keep wondering about. otoh, I do think the marriage issue is huge. Women who've graduated from college want to marry men who've graduated from college, period. That's just part of the 'package'; they're not going to suddenly think they should be marrying 'down.' Mortenson's comment about white women heading towards the position of black women is important. -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jan 2006
Google Master In 1970, 55.2% of male high school graduates went to college, whereas in 1998, 62.4% of male high school graduates did so, so there was an increase. In 1970, 48.5% of female high school graduates went to college, whereas in 1998, 69.1% did so, so there was a bigger increase than there was for the males. Is that right? We have an absolute majority of women over men in college? I don't know what to think about economic incentives & economic rationality, etc., but socially — and I do know something about that — this is bad. How do these figures shift in terms of who graduates? Apparently women have a significantly higher graduation rate as well. -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jan 2006
Ben At least based on my experience in California, Jr. College can be one of the most cost effective forns of public education. CA community colleges are fantastic. -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jan 2006
Ken Based on the stats Rick cited, too many kids are entering college today that don't belong there. We are well below the median student, so the flatter IQ curve of males (more dummies) is being reflected in the college admissions. I'm too tired to follow this at the moment, but Greenspan says the opposite..... He says that the fact college graduates are paid so well vis a vis blue collar men is that we have too few college grads & too many non-college grads. Does that seem wrong? (I can pull the article if you want to see it.) -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jan 2006
Economically speaking, Greenspan is right. Wages are based on good old supply and demand. In the global economy there is lots of competition at the lower end of the job spectrum. To succeed in our knowledge based economy, you need a good education and increasingly a college degree. These jobs are in high demand and the supply of qualified persons is low. That's why these jobs pay so well. But there are lots of well paying blue collar jobs that are mostly filled by skilled men - electrician, plumber, carpenter, etc. These jobs don't require much in the way of education, but they do require brainpower. -- KDeRosa - 26 Jan 2006
"At least based on my experience in California, Jr. College can be one of the most cost effective forns of public education." It may not be glamorous, but it costs a lot less, you get your basic distribution courses out of the way, you perhaps know better what you want to do, and many find it easier to transfer into schools they would never get into as a freshman. The downside is that some courses don't transfer and it might take an extra semester or two. -- SteveH - 26 Jan 2006
Junior and Community Colleges have a couple of other major advantages: They tend to focus on teaching rather than research. They tend to be a bit more structured in the way they teach (at least in my experience), which can provide a useful transition from high school to the nearly completely free-form world that is a standard research university. -- DougSundseth - 26 Jan 2006
Catherine, Working on the stats has generated ideas for a post that I'm about half-way through. Women took 60% of the undergraduate degrees the last few years. I'm working through some BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) data plus a few data sets from the last site I noted. Hopefully tomorrow I'll pull it together. There appears to be an enormous number of delayed entries occurring and I was right about the VietNam? years - in '76 enrollment by men dropped 12% and men and women's entries reached parity for the first time. Since then men have slowly dropped to 46% where they have been hanging since '92-'94. As to Greenspan's notion - he ought to read this blog for additional insight as to why more kids aren't making it all the way through. One of the things I'm noticing is that the matriculation/graduation ratio appears to have declined rather substantially when those late entries are added to total enrollment. -- RickBallard - 26 Jan 2006
Rick THANKS! Do you want to write a post for here?? Or do you want to post over at YARGB & we can link? GREAT! -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jan 2006
Interestingly, the vocational schools in our area have added distribution courses and are providing college degrees. Some of these schools are now vastly superior to many colleges. wow that is interesting I have a very good impression of community colleges (Ed, too) but I don't know much about them -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jan 2006