NYU Study Examines the Gender Gap in Charter School Enrollments

nyuA new study by researchers at New York University, finds that girls make up a significant majority of students in public charter schools, particularly at the middle and high school levels. The main reason for the gender gap, according to the study, is that boys are more likely than girls to leave charter schools after they have enrolled.

Researchers examined more than a decade of data for all public schools in the U.S., including charter schools. Overall, girls made up a slightly larger share of all charter school students than they did in other public schools. The largest gender gap of 3.1 percentage points occurred in 11th grade.

The study found that both boys and girls were both more likely to leave charter schools than traditional public schools. However, boys were more likely than girls to exit charters at every grade level, by as much as 1 to 3 percentage points more per year, with larger gaps in the upper grades.

jenningsJennifer Jennings, associate professor of sociology at New York University and a co-author of the study, stated that “gender differences in educational needs and behavior may play a role. Our study suggests that preferences for certain education environments, combined with the ability to succeed in these environments, may drive gender gaps in charter school enrollment.”

Dr. Jennings is a graduate of Princeton University. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge in England and a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University.

Filed Under: EnrollmentsGender GapResearch/Study


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