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How Context Mediates Policy: The Implementation of Single Gender Public Schooling in California


by Amanda Datnow, Lea Hubbard & Gilberto Q. Conchas — 2001

In this article, we present findings about the implementation of single gender public schooling in California--a movement that signifies a growing interest in school choice and private sector solutions to public education problems. We analyze qualitative data gathered in a study of 12 single gender academies (6 boys; 6 girls). As well-meaning educators responded to California’s single gender academies legislation, they designed schools and used resources to address the pressing needs of students in each community, such as low achievement, poverty, or violence, rather than to address gender bias. The impetus for single gender schooling in each context affected the organization, curriculum, and pedagogy in each academy, as did educators’ ideologies about gender. In the end, the politics surrounding the legislation, the resource interests of district and school administrators, and the lack of institutional support for this gender-based reform coalesced to structure the demise of most of the single gender academies. We consider the implications of these findings for the viability of single gender schooling as a public school option.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 103 Number 2, 2001, p. 184-206
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10723, Date Accessed: 12/18/2017 4:07:44 AM

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About the Author
  • Amanda Datnow

    E-mail Author

  • Lea Hubbard
    University of California, San Diego
    LEA HUBBARD is an assistant research scientist in the Sociology Department at the University of California, San Diego. Her work focuses on educational inequities as they exist across ethnicity, class, and gender. She is the coauthor, with Amanda Datnow, of “A Gendered Look at Educational Reform” Gender and Education, 2001.
  • Gilberto Conchas
    Harvard University
    E-mail Author
    GILBERTO Q. CONCHAS is an assistant professor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research emphasizes inequality and sociocultural processes within the school centext that structure variations in educational opportunity for urban minority youth. He is the author of “Structuring Failure and Success: Understanding the Variability in Latino School Engagement” ( Harvard Educational Review, forthcoming.)
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