GA County Going To All Single-Sex Public Schools

Students in all of Greene County’s (GA) regular public schools will be separated by gender starting next fall, a move educators hope will improve rock-bottom test scores and reduce teen pregnancy and discipline rates in the small, rural system.

The school board approved the measure last week, drawing vocal protests from some students, parents and community members.

It exempts only a charter school, which is public but operates independently from the rest of the system and has a limited attendance zone.

School officials say they need drastic change to save the low-performing district from slipping further behind the rest of the state. “This school district is in bad shape,” said Superintendent Shawn McCollough. “We’ve made very positive incremental steps in the last two years. Our kids need help faster than what we’re doing, and that’s why we’re moving to a faster, more innovative program.”

Districts nationwide have been scrambling to implement single-sex education, since federal officials finalized rules to ease the process in 2006. But officials in Greene County, east of metro Atlanta along I-20, say they believe they are the first in the country to convert the entire district to a single-gender model.

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(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 02.14.08)

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