A New York Times article on student performance and gender this week was so focused on rich, white boys performing better than girls in math they nearly missed the fact that girls on average always perform higher than boys in English and language arts.
Citing a Stanford study on third through eighth graders, the Times led with a headline singling out “Rich, White and Suburban Districts” where families cater more to boys which causes a spike in their math scores.
“Men in this socioeconomic group earn more than women,” the report states, suggesting boys are inspired by their white-collar fathers but girls don’t view mothers similarly because the wage gap hurts women.
The report hardly mentions that boys across the board perform lower in English and language arts.
“In the average district, girls perform about three-quarters of a grade level ahead of boys” in ELA, it states, but not until the fifth paragraph.
Perhaps one of the most important factors for boys’ success — having “fathers who are involved in their lives” — is not mentioned until the very end. (RELATED: NYT Buries Nationalities Of London Bombers And Omits Refugee Status In Report)
The piece also shifted blame toward “deeply ingrained stereotypes that boys are better at math” and teachers who “often underestimate girls’ math abilities.”
Finally, in the very last paragraph, the Times admits that the academic choices students make also have a large impact: “The gender gaps in achievement grow even larger” as students enter high school and choose their own courses. (RELATED: Prof Says Personal Choice, Not Discrimination Accounts For STEM Gender Gap)
The American Psychological Association found that girls generally perform higher in most academic subjects, especially language courses. The degree in gender difference was found most apparent in middle schoolers, contrasting the Times which referenced the same demographic.