Knox County high school in second year of gender-based classes

Knox County high school in second year of gender-based classes

Posted:
"A school in Memphis, their test scores had gone up. Their graduation rates had gone up, and we wanted to try it here," said English teacher Pam Parker. "A school in Memphis, their test scores had gone up. Their graduation rates had gone up, and we wanted to try it here," said English teacher Pam Parker.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

STRAWBERRY PLAINS (WATE) - A Knox County high school is trying an unconventional method to improve test scores by separating some students into gender-based classes.

At Carter High School, the freshmen core classes are split up by gender.

Last year, the administration decided to start dividing those classes based on gender. The idea came from another school.

"A school in Memphis, their test scores had gone up. Their graduation rates had gone up, and we wanted to try it here," said English teacher Pam Parker. She's been teaching for nine years.

Parker says she's seen drastic improvement in student performance. She used to have seven to 10 failures each year, but not anymore.

"Failures for the year, we only had one for the entire year. And my test scores went up several points," she said.

Most of her female English students say they enjoy having core classes with girls only.  

Abigail Sprinkle says it's easier to focus on the work. "It's less distractions because the boys, from past experiences, the boys are always causing trouble and the girls can talk and get through the things that need to get done," she said.

But Hunter Rucker, who's in the all boys biology class, isn't so sure about dividing classes this way. "I do, but I don't because I've got friends that are girls that actually help me with my work," he said.

The gender-based classes are only in the ninth grade. Parker says if a student has a successful freshman year, he or she normally goes on to graduate high school.

She also says the division has increased learning in the classroom and decreased the fear of being made fun of by others.  

Although Rucker doesn't completely support the change, he admits it's easier to focus. "You don't look around the room at girls and stuff like that so it cuts out on a bunch of distractions," he said.

The teachers emphasize that students are still socializing with both genders. Their electives, like PE and art, are still co-ed classes.

One of the male teachers of the boys' biology class says the students' classroom participation and test scores have increased, and the boys seem to be more comfortable.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.