Sunday, February 07, 2010

Gender Gap at NYC Specialized High Schools

The gender issue is not unique to Stuyvesant -- it's present in all but one (Queens HS of Science at York College) of the eight NYC specialized high schools that require intending students to take the SHSAT (LaGuardia, the ninth specialized HS, requires auditions but not the SHSAT). Only Queens HS of Science at York College looks to be close to 50-50 balanced.

Here are the male/female breakdowns for all eight SHSAT-requiring HS's as of their January 15, 2010 registers.

Stuyvesant -------------------------------------------------------- (41.6% F, 58.4% M)
Bronx Science ---------------------------------------------------- (42.67% F, 57.33% M)
Brooklyn Tech ----------------------------------------------------- (42.08% F, 57.92% M)
Brooklyn Latin------------- ---------------------------------------- (45.55% F, 54.45% M)
Queens HS Science at York College ----------------------- (47.23% F, 52.77% M)
HS American Studies at Lehman College ----------------- (44.51% F, 55.49% M)
Staten Island Tech ----------------------------------------------- (43.22% F, 56.78% M)
HS of Math/Science/Engineering at City College -------- (35.62% F, 64.38%M)

Since all eight of these schools require the SHSAT exam for admittance, these figures certainly suggest a strong male bias. It looks to be even more so when you look at a few other similar schools. For comparison, here are the male/female breakdowns for a few "science-oriented" high schools for which admission does not require the SHSAT (I have not excluded any schools - those that follow are just the ones that came first to my mind):

Manhattan Center for Science and Math ------------------ (54.26% F, 45.74% M)
Midwood HS ------------------------------------------------------ (53.49% F, 46.51% M)
Benjamin Cardozo HS ----------------------------------------- (52.69% F, 47.31% M)
NEST + M --------------------------------------------------------- (52.43% F, 47.57% M)
HS for Environmental Studies ------------------------------- (51.35% F, 48.65% M)

A few others:

Townsend Harris ------------------------------------------------ (69.74% F, 30.26% M)
NYC Lab School ------------------------------------------------ (49.81% F, 50.19% M)
Millennium HS --------------------------------------------------- (64.83% F, 35.17% M)
Eleanor Roosevelt ---------------------------------------------- (64.31% F, 35.69% M)
School of the Future ------------------------------------------- (51.76% F, 48.24% M)
Beacon ------------------------------------------------------------ (60.30% F, 39.70% M)
Francis Lewis HS ---------------------------------------------- (51.86% F, 48.14% M)

There certainly does appear to be a possible male bias in the SHSAT based on these figures -- everything I've pulled up so far, anyway. On the other hand, it appears to have nothing to do per se with Stuyvesant -- it's pretty much all of the specialized high schools taken together. Btw, and not terribly surprisingly, LaGuardia HS for the Performing Arts is currently 74.82% female.

Steve Koss

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