Even more seriously, Number 2 Pencil and King of Fools react to a Marshall Poe essay in the latest Atlantic noting a growing educational achievement gap between boys and girls. (Boys' test scores may have historically exceeded girls' test scores on average as the less academically inclined boys selected out of writing the College Boards.)
One point in the article is worth further commentary:
But boys' educational stagnation has long-term economic implications. Not even half the boys in the country are taking advantage of the opportunity to go to college, which has become almost a prerequisite for a middle-class lifestyle. And languishing academic attainment among a large portion of our population spells trouble for the prospects of continued economic growth. Unless more boys begin attending college, the nation may face a shortage of highly skilled workers in the coming decades.Perhaps the recruitment of more male teachers, or the provision of a less-girly curriculum, or a reluctance to treat high-energy behavior as something to be medicated away will help. It's also worth considering that highly-skilled is not equivalent to college-educated in many cases (start here, look here, and play this golden oldie for details) and the decision of schools to offer fewer shop and other skilled trade classes will only have the effect of raising the incomes of those relatively few people who discover those opportunities.