To the Editor:
In my piece, "Education in the USA, 2012," I said: "There are three distinct ways which make it impossible to say that, aside from equality under the law, all children are created equal." I followed this with only two ways, thus shortchanging the reader. To make amends, I should like to provide my third reason now.
I truly believe that education in the USA is handicapped by combining girls and boys in the same classroom. It is an undisputed fact that, on average, girls are two years ahead of boys of the same age mentally as well as physically. My own experience validated this, remembering how in dancing class as a 15-year old I would lead my partner onto the floor and gently rest my head on her bosom. And another, years later--- visiting my step-daughter in her college dorm, I quizzed several of her friends about the boys in their high school classes. One after another gave me the same reaction: "Jerks".
More to the point, over my years in Reston I have had conversations with numerous middle and high school teachers. Not one of them doubted that separate classrooms for girls and for boys would benefit all their students. Not hard to explain. Add to the maturity gap the hormonal vibrations and the results are bound to affect the learning curves of the majority of students.
People will say that co-education prepares students for the real world and that interaction between the sexes should be part of their education. I believe that this part of education can well be fulfilled by shared dining facilities as well as by shared self- governmental and pro-bono activities. I did not experience this sharing as my school and college were all male. However, I found that learning to relate to the opposite sex could be accomplished (as much as was possible for me) in out of school time.