Latest News

Old Tactic Gets New Use: Public Schools Separate Girls and Boys

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — In one third-grade classroom, the walls are bordered by cheetah and zebra prints, bright pink caddies hold pencils and glue sticks, and a poster at the front lists rules, including “Act pretty at all times!”

Next door, cutouts of racecars and pictures of football players line the walls, and a banner behind the teacher’s desk reads “Coaches Corner.”

The students in the first class: girls. Next door: boys.

Single-sex education, common in the United States until the 19th century, when it fell into deep disfavor except in private or parochial schools, is on the rise again in public schools as educators seek ways to improve academic performance, especially among the poor.