Florida lawmakers propose gender specific classrooms

Florida lawmakers propose gender specific classrooms

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Girls in one classroom, boys in another.  It's a learning structure that parents may or may not like, but two Florida lawmakers have filed a bill to incorporate gender-specific classrooms in select elementary schools.

The legislation calls for a two-year pilot program, with the goal of expanding it to all elementary schools in the future.

"Academically, girls usually excel faster," said Rep. Manny Diaz Jr.  "If you separate the boys and the girls what we think is going to happen is that you're going to see they will act differently within the social structure of the classroom and it will affect the learning."
Students would only be separated for core academics of math and science. Schools would also get additional funding for professional development, and selected schools would have open enrollment allowing parents to opt in or out the school.

"I think it's a great idea, anything that we do to give parents choice I think is very important to the Orange County School Board, I think the key is that it's got to be parental choice because every child is different," said Bill Sublette, Chairman of the Orange County School Board.

Sublette says giving parents more education options could be beneficial.

"For some children being in a class of all boys or all girls maybe be very, very good for them for other children that would be detrimental, so we've got to empower parents and give them that choice," Sublette said.

If the bill were to bass, the pilot program would begin in the 2014-2015 school year.

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