NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Girls Forging Ahead In Schools

January 13, 1999

Boys have traditionally earned lower grades, trailed girls in class rankings and won fewer school honors. Moreover, in recent years the educational gains girls have chalked up vis-a-vis boys can best be described as dramatic -- both at the secondary and college levels.

  • Nearly one-third of high school girls reported receiving mostly As on their last report card versus only 17.6 percent of boys, according to a 1998 State of Our Nation's Youth Survey.
  • Some 49 percent of high school girls say they complete homework before starting other activities compared to 30.9 percent of boys.
  • The study revealed that 63 percent of "the most optimistic and successful students" were girls, while only 37 percent were boys.
  • In 1996 young women represented 45 percent of undergraduate college enrollees, but by 2007 there will be a projected 9.1 million women in college, compared to just 6.9 million men, according to U.S. Department of Education estimates.

Over the past few years, the National Science Foundation, the American Association of University Women and other groups have funded programs to boost girls' achievement in math and science. Now, some in academia are beginning to argue that boys deserve more attention, too.

Source: Kim Asch, "Girls Overtake Boys in School Performance," Washington Times, January 13, 1999.


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