Vetting Single-Sex Education

It may not be for everyone, but there is a place for single-sex education in today's classrooms.

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Photo by Jared CastaldiIn 1984, I had the strange luck of being a part of the first coed class to graduate from Episcopal Academy. We were an exceptionally close bunch, and we knew we were special. Administrators told us so—quite often, in fact.

Still, my socialization was a bit unusual—even somewhat delayed. Unlike the relatively even ratios found at Episcopal today, our class was mostly male. And the culture and traditions that carried EA through its first 200 years as an all-boys school weren’t easily erased.

The girls in our class were relentlessly doted on, routinely misunderstood and occasionally feared. A few dated upperclassmen; one even took up with the son of the headmaster. Another found a serious boyfriend in the grade below. Others chose not to get mixed up in the out-of-whack gender dynamic at EA and turned to other schools. I joined most of the guys in my class and did the same, socializing regularly with a fun bunch of Notre Dame girls.

Back in fourth grade, I spent a day at the Haverford School (my dad’s alma mater) and decided it wasn’t for me. But I do wonder sometimes how I would’ve turned out if I’d given single-sex education a shot.

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