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Why Boys Fail by Richard WHITMIRE

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

HUDDLED IN A chilly mountain inn in Australia’s Blue Mountains, I listened to the spooky calls of cockatoos in the surrounding forest and wondered if my research into U.S. boys falling behind in school had gone astray. Why was I here in Australia, a two-hour train ride out of Sydney, rather than visiting more American schools? The journey that brought me to this unusual location started a decade ago when I realized that, contrary to the conventional wisdom among educators and parents, boys—not girls—were the ones struggling in school.

My investigation into the issue started slowly and picked up speed with a reporting fellowship from the University of Maryland that allowed me to travel. I quickly discovered that gender gaps are ...

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