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NYU Receives Gates Foundation Grant to Study Effectiveness of Single-Sex Schools for Black and Latino Males


New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Urban Education has received a $481,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to study the effectiveness of single-sex, K-12 schools for Black and Latino male students.

Pedro Noguera, executive director of the Metropolitan Center and faculty member at NYU s Steinhardt School of Education
Pedro Noguera, executive director of the Metropolitan Center and faculty member at NYU s Steinhardt School of Education

New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Urban Education has received a $481,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to study the effectiveness of single-sex, K-12 schools for Black and Latino male students.

“With this grant from the Gates Foundation we will be able to investigate these new single-sex schools that are proliferating across the country without the benefit of any research to guide their development,” said Pedro Noguera, executive director of the Metropolitan Center and faculty member at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education. “We are excited about the possibility of engaging in research that may prove valuable in supporting the efforts of these schools.”

The three-year study will compare the effectiveness of sex-single sex versus co-educational schools in meeting the academic and social needs of low-income, Black and Latino male students. The researchers will examine all-male, predominantly Black and Latino primary and secondary schools in New York City, Atlanta, Portland, and Chicago.

The 2002 enactment of the federal government’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation has coincided with the growth of single-sex K-12 public schools in the United States. Simultaneously, schools and districts throughout the country are searching for understanding and interventions for addressing the persisting limited academic success of Black and Latino male students. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which issues “The Nation’s Report Card” on educational achievement, significant portions of 9- and 13-year-old Blacks and Latinos are not meeting proficiency; by the time high school graduation occurs less than 50 percent of Black and Latino males are graduating. In urban centers, these numbers are even more staggering-12 percent in Detroit and 38 percent in New York City.

The nature of these academic outcomes raises concerns about the schooling and social contexts Black and Latino males are experiencing, and more importantly asks how educators and policy makers can intervene. The NYU researchers contend that the rise of single-sex schools may serve as a potential intervention to address the academic and social difficulties this population is experiencing, but that the efficacy of such institutions must first be understood.

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