By Krysten Crawford
A review of test scores from 10,000 school district finds that gender gaps in math and English vary with community wealth and racial diversity.
When Stanford Professor Sean Reardon and his research team set out to take an unprecedented look at how elementary school girls and boys compare in academic achievement, they expected to find similar stereotype-driven patterns across all 10,000 U.S. school districts: boys consistently outperforming girls in math and girls steadily surpassing boys in reading and writing by a wide margin.
Instead, Reardon and his team of researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education discovered wide variations in how girls and boys in grades three through eight perform from one district to the next. In some cases, girls did better in both math and reading. In others, boys had the advantage in math and almost matched girls on English-related subjects.