From a developmental perspective, I'm not convinced that there is much families and schools can do. Educators have long recognized that boys and girls learn differently. And new brain research has convinced some that more consideration should be given to the findings. "Girls' left brain tends to develop more quickly than boys' left brain," said Diane Connell, a professor of New Hampshire's Rivier College. "That enables girls in kindergarten and first grade to actually do the writing, fine motor skills, sit in their seats longer. They're even able to hear better. They really do come to school more equipped to read and write." If this is truly the case, then all the nurture in the world isn't going to overcome nature. We have to wait until the minds of young boys are physiologically ready to learn to read. Beyond that point, we need to do a much better job of helping them learn. Consider the following information from the article:
- Nationally the gap between girls' and boys' reading proficiency is 5 percentage points to 10 percentage points. In writing, it's 10 percentage points to 15 percentage points.
- About three-quarters of special-education students are boys.
- Poor, black and Hispanic boys struggle the most with reading.
- Poverty has long been a factor in poor academic performance, but a high percentage of boys from educated families are deficient in reading. Twenty-three percent of young white men with parents who have at least a bachelor's degree are not proficient in reading when they graduate from high school; 7 percent of young women are not, according to statistics.