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Reviving Ophelia and Raising Cain: Single Gender Public Schools, Ten Years and Growing


1992 AAUW publishes How Schools Shortchange Girls. 1994 Mary Pipher publishes Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Reviving Ophelia and Raising Cain: Single Gender Public Schools, Ten Years and Growing

Reviving Ophelia and Raising Cain Single
Gender Public Schools, Ten Years and Growing
TYWLS Makes History and Headlines
All-Girls Public School to Open Despite
Objections August, 1996
A public school for girls only, seen as haven
where they will excel July, 1996
Et Tu, A.C.L.U.? A misguided war against a girls
school in Harlem July, 1996
Why open an all girls public school?
  • 1982 Dr. Carol Gilligan publishes In a Different
  • 1992 AAUW publishes How Schools Shortchange
  • 1994 Mary Pipher publishes Reviving Ophelia
    Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls.
  • 1996 TYWLS, EH opens to provide inner-city young
    women with an education free from the sexual
    pressures and stereotypes of society.

The Young Womens Leadership School of East
Harlem 10 years later
  • 400 students grades 7-12
  • 100 of all five graduating classes accepted to
  • Attendance consistently above 93
  • Inside Schools rates TYWLS, EH 1 in NYC for
    taking struggling middle school students and
    graduating them on time.
  • TYWLS, EH named Breakthrough High School by NASSP
    Principals in 2005
  • TYWLS recognized by New York State as a Gap
    Closing School for 2004-2005.
  • Over 2000 students applied for less than 5 spots
    in the 9th grade class.
  • TYWLS begins opening its model at other sites in
    NYC in 2004.

TYWLS, East Harlem gives birth to an education
reform movement.
  • 44 single-sex girls and boys schools across the
  • Over 200 schools are offering single-sex classes.
  • In NYC there are now 10 single-sex schools.

Single-Sex Schools are a Choice.
  • The number one reason for having single-sex
    schools in the public sector is choice!
  • Parents and students deserve the same educational
    opportunities available to their peers in
    wealthy, private schools.
  • Many students and parents want the choice to
    attend a single-sex school

News Flash! Boys and Girls Learn Differently
  • New brain imaging research demonstrate that boys
    and girls process information differently.
  • Studies have shown that single-sex schools
    positively impact students academic achievement,
    particularly for inner-city students of color.

What a boy needs…
  • Ultimate High School Classroom
  • Students participate in conflict resolution and
    communication training.
  • Bring fathers and other males into the school to
    tell their story and mentor males to healthy
  • Allow for movement in the classroom
  • Teach boys how to understand girls, through frank
  • Allow for check-in time so students have a time
    to verbalize issues that they face.
  • Ultimate Middle School Classroom
  • All teachers should be trained in male hormonal
    and adolescent brain development
  • Talk about model heroic behavior, ideas and
    stories that show adolescents what it means to
    truly be a man
  • Offer rites of passage experiences
  • Provide tension release strategies both within
    and outside the classroom
  • Integrate emotional literacy and emotional
    development in all courses

Dr. Michael Gurian
What a girl needs…
  • Ultimate Middle School Classroom
  • Teach all subjects with the use of field trips,
    physical movement and multi-sensory strategies.
  • Make sure every girl has a least one female role
    model in the school to bond with.
  • Give girls hands on methods for learning math.
  • Have high expectations both in academic areas as
    well as social maturity
  • Ultimate High School Classroom
  • Train girls like teachers in the gender
    differences in learning styles.
  • Do not shy away from competition in learning
    especially in math and science learning.
  • Team teach and provide group learning frameworks
    as much as possible.
  • Train girls on the effect of media imagery on
    their self concept and character development.

Dr. Michael Gurian
Critical Elements of a Great Girls School
  • Connections the school culture should make
    girls feel connected to everything that goes on.
  • Imprint girls will want to leave their mark on
    the school, a legacy, i.e., mural
  • Advisory girls need to have someone they can go
    to unconditionally
  • Links to the outside mentoring helps girls
    create a vision of the future if you can see
    it, you can be it.
  • Great teachers - caring, competent teachers who
    are moral authorities and can depersonalize
    assessment and evaluation.
  • Managed friendships every girl needs to be
    connected to a classmate but adults need to
    facilitate interaction and intervene in cliques.
  • Community service brings girls a connection with
    the world at large and makes them feel part of
    something bigger than themselves.
  • Attention to rituals beginning and ending
    classes, beginning and ending the year, special
    ceremonies and celebrations.
  • Challenging girls to come out of their comfort
    zones and take managed risks improves their self

Joanne Deak
The Controversy
  • The Young Womens Leadership School of East
    Harlem was challenged by the local chapters of
    the A.C.L.U. and the National Organization for
  • A complaint was filed with the Federal Department
    of Education. There was no lawsuit filed.

NOW Isnt Pro-Choice on Education August, 1997
The Legal Argument
  • Rosemary Salomone prominent law professor at St.
    Johns University is the lead legal mind on the
    issue of K-12 single-sex schools.
  • Several papers published defending the legality
    of single-sex schools
  • Single-sex education was never illegal in the
    public school system it has just fallen out of
  • Demonstrated that the concept of schools for boys
    or girls that address specific educational needs
    are legal under current law.

The World is Watching
  • The Young Womens Leadership School was in a
    fishbowl. The success or failure of this school
    would determine the future of the single-sex
    public school movement.
  • In 2001 TYWLS, EH graduated its first senior
    class. 100 of the graduates were accepted to

Making the grade, point 1st graduating class
at all-girls school a huge success June, 2001
The Legislation
  • I support single-sex opportunities because I
    have seen single sex schools work to help girls
    improve their students achievement and meet
    their goals… New York City has one of the premier
    public schools for girls in the nation…The Young
    Womens Leadership School.
    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
    Congressional Record June, 2001
  • June, 2001 Senate unanimously approves amendment
    to the No Child Left Behind Act. Authorizing
    local education agencies to use local innovative
    education funds provided by the act to establish
    same-gender schools and classrooms.
  • March, 2004 US DOE proposes to amend Title IX to
    provide additional flexibility for school
    districts interested in providing single-sex
    schools and classes.
  • 2004 the federal government commissions RMC
    research corporation to study single sex public
    schooling in the United States.

Executive Summary
10 Years and Growing!
  • The Young Womens Leadership Foundation has
    created four all girls schools in New York City,
    and we are affiliated with schools in Chicago,
    Dallas and Philadelphia.
  • Ann Richards, former Gov. of Texas is planning an
    all girls school in Austin based on the YWLF
  • The Young Womens Leadership Charter School of
    Chicago is consulting with Oprah Winfrey on the
    creation of her girls school in South Africa.
  • In Sept. 2004 two all boys schools opened in New
    York City. The Eagle Academy for Young Men and
    the UA School for History and Citizenship.

Additional Resources
  • Websites
  • Books
  • Journals

American Association of University Women
http// Promoting Education and Equity
for Women and Girls Jon Sczieska
m Childrens author who advocates for attention
to boys literacy issues. Highly recommended,
his anthology Guys Write for Guys Read. The
National Coalition of Girls Schools
http// Commitment to the values
and benefits of single-sex schools for girls, and
a belief that all girls, regardless of
educational setting, deserve the opportunity to
realize their potential, to be active and equal,
confident and competent leaders, participants and
contributors. Studio 2B-Girls Scouts

http// A Place for Teens. Wellesley
Centers for Women
http// Groundbreaking work
is dedicated to looking at the world through the
eyes of women with the goal of shaping a better a
world for all. The Young Womens Leadership
Foundation http//
Is at the forefront of the nations school
reform movement and is one of the most important
forces in creating choice for students in urban
public school systems. The Young Womens
Leadership School http// A
dynamic look inside the program in East Harlem.
How equitable is your science education program? 
Programs for Educational Opportunity Equity
Coalition,  Fall 1993, Spring 1994. Salomone,
Rosemary (2003).  Single sex programs for at risk
students.  Education Week. Salomone,
Rosemary(2004) Feminist Voices in the Debate
over Single-Sex Schooling Finding Common
Ground. 11 Michigan Journal of Gender and
Law1. Salomone, Rosemary (2006). Single-Sex
Programs Resolving the Research Conundrum,
108(1) Teachers College Record (2006).
Deak, Joann (2003).  Girls Will Be Girls
Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters. 
Hyperion 1st Trade edition.  ISBN
0786886579. DeBare, Ilana (2005). Where Girls
Come First. Tarcher.  ISBN 1585423947. Gurian,
Michael (2003). Boys and Girls Learn Differently
Action Guide for Teachers.  John Wiley Sons
Canada, Ltd.  ISBN 0787964859. Hrabowski,Freeman
et al (2002). Overcoming the Odds Raising
Academically Successful African American Young
Women. Oxford University Press ISBN
0-19-512642-4 Kindlon, Dan and Michael
Thompson(1999). Raising Cain Protecting the
Emotional Life of Boys. Ballantine Books. ISBN
0-345-43485-4. (The book was the basis for the
2005 PBS Documentary Raising Cain). LeCroy,
Craig Winston Daley, Janice (2001).  Empowering
Adolescent GirlsExamining the present and
building skills for the future with the Go Grrrls
Program.  W.W. Norton Company.  ISBN
0393703479. Pipher, Mary (1995).  Reviving
Ophelia Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. 
Ballantine Books Reissue edition.  ISBN
0345392825. Reznick, Anita Wilson, Faith 
(2003).  Educating Our Daughters 15
Considerations in Selecting the Best School
Environment.  St. Teresas Press.  ISBN
0972555102. Salomone, Rosemary (2005).  Same,
Different, Equal Rethinking Single-Sex
Schooling.  Yale University Press ISBN
  • Sax, Leonard (2005).  Why Gender Matters What
    Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the
    Emerging Science of Sex Differences.  Doubleday. 
    ISBN 038551073X.
  • Simmons, Rachel (2003).  Odd Girl Out The
    Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. Harvest
    Books Harvest edition.  ISBN 0156027348.
  • Stabiner, Karen (2003).  All Girls Single-Sex
    Education and Why It Matters.  Riverhead Books
    Reissue edition.  ISBN 1573229946.