Schools and Classrooms Segregated by Gender

The Denver Post recently reported that Colorado will be opening its first all-girls public school next year in Denver.  Recent legislation has allowed for the number of single-sex classrooms and schools in public education to increase exponentially, but there is a great deal of debate about whether this segregation is such a good idea.  The ACLU has consistently fought against this trend, contending that such schools are illegal and reinforce negative and false stereotypes about gender differences.  However, proponents say that segregation actually breaks down gender stereotypes and that students in segregated settings perform better academically.

Below are some articles and websites with more details about both sides of the debate:

Sex Segregated Education Based on Phony Science and Real Oppression
National Association for Single Sex Public Education
Single-Sex Public Schools
Why Do Conservatives Favor Single-Sex Schools?

After reading through this information, consider the following:

  1. In light of the foundational ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”, why do you think gender segregated classrooms are getting a pass?  What are the moral and ethical implications of this?
  2. Which side of the debate do you lean towards? How would you defend your position to others?  How will your beliefs on this issue impact the advocacy you do in your school and district?
  3. What are the implications of schools or classrooms separated by gender for transgender students?

Thank you for subscribing to our weekly discussion.  Please visit the Center for Culturally Responsive Education (CRUE) website at for more information and resources on educational equity.




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