What the Hell Is Happening to Girls in Middle School? Just Look at the Latest Social-Emotional Data

There are certain graphs that hurt my head and my heart.  That tell us something is dreadfully wrong, and that we should do something.  The latest soul hurting statistic came from the state’s most robust data set—the CORE data, which looks not only at academics but also students self-reported well being and sense of competency. And something dreadful is happening to girls’ self confidence in middle school.

I have covered some of this before in my “Invisible Girls in Oakland” Post,

There was consensus that the experiences of girls within the district is somewhat invisible and that there is a need to more intentionally create opportunities for decision makers to learn about the experiences of girls, particularly African American girls…

but this graph hammered home the systematic failures.  It represents almost 2 million children.

While girls school start self-reporting higher self-efficacy than boys, that quickly changes as their self- efficacy plummets in middle school.  You can see the definition, but basically self-efficacy is your confidence that you can succeed and reach your goals. It’s roughly self-confidence (I know someone from CORE is going to yell at me for oversimplifying).

If you are in schools, you see this. We need to dig deeper around what is happening so systematically and how to dismantle it.

You can see the definitions.

I would love to see some data from all-girls schools, or targeted programs, and if we have bright spots to have a spotlight on those, because the initial implications are pretty dark.

Would welcome thoughts from those who are seeing different outcomes, because we have to change these graphs, which means changing the system.



What do you think?

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