To submit a letter to The Age, email letters theage. Please include your home address and telephone number. However they are not well equipped to do this. He refers to "the undoubted benefits to educating boys in a single-sex environment" but fails to spell out what these benefits are. All the programs he mentions that are designed to foster positive attitudes to girls and women cannot counter the fact that this type of school is a model of segregation and risks encouraging sexist attitudes. Illustration: Matt Golding Credit:. I was educated in a girls' school and the benefits to me were tremendous, while I was there. Afterwards, in the pre-women's liberation late '60s and early '70s, my limited experience with male teenagers and young men was, to say the least, disadvantageous and at worst dangerous. This — together with working as a teacher in boys' schools — led me to advocate co-education, with separate classes for girls and boys in English and mathematics. I see no reason to change my opinion.
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Single-sex schools have existed from the very beginning in not only America but throughout the world. For millennia, it was viewed that only men could be educated. Depending on the area and the time period, sometimes only rich men could have an education, sometimes all men and even other times, only men of a certain race or color. Women were kept out of the schools in many places throughout the world. Within the last couple of hundred years, schools around the world have begun opening their doors to women. Some schools put women and men in the same classroom. Others put them in the same school but different classrooms. Others still have put men and women in separate schools altogether. In time, all schools who had men and women in the same building eventually allowed the two genders to share a classroom. Soon, it became a choice between single-sex or coed education.
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Private girls' schools dominate a new league table of New Zealand high schools produced by the tutoring company Crimson Education. Auckland's St Cuthbert's College tops the list and four of the other top 10 schools are private girls' schools. Altogether, girls' schools score 18 of the top 50 places, or 36 per cent, although girls' schools make up only 12 per cent of all NZ schools with senior secondary classes. Boys' schools also punch well above their weight, with 11 of the top 50 22 per cent , compared with 9 per cent of all secondary schools. Co-educational schools get only 21 of the top 50 places 42 per cent , even though 79 per cent of secondary schools are co-ed. However, it does not adjust for the advantages that students start with because of their family backgrounds. All of the top 40, and all except four of the top 50, draw students from the most advantaged three deciles. The NZ Initiative reported last week that schools' NCEA pass rates averaged almost exactly the same across all decile groups after adjusting for the students' family backgrounds. Crimson founder Jamie Beaton said he created his ranking because parents were often confused by the differing exam systems. The rankings give most weight 35 per cent to the proportion of a school's final-year students who win NZ scholarships or Cambridge or IB awards.