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Fact Checking AISD Single-Sex Schools Before The Vote
After more than a year of discussions, the Austin Independent School District is set to decide whether to create up to three more single-sex schools.
Trustees have had a lot to say about the pros and cons of bringing same-sex schools to AISD, but what has been accurate?
We went to two education experts to get those answers.
First, Dr. Laura Pressley, who teaches chemistry and Science in schools across the state, told us the district has not offered any reliable research to prove single sex schools are more effective or create higher test scores.
"Our tax dollars are being used and wasted," she explained about the possible $20 million price tag to create an all-boys school at the former Anderson High campus. "You don't go make a corrective action for something you have not identified as the reason why academic performance is poor in Austin."
Next up is University of Texas Assistant Professor of Higher Education Richard Reddick.
"I have more of a wait and see attitude about it," he said a few hours before the vote. "The body of research is pretty thin, there's just not much out there."
He told us most of the stats, figures and thoughts you've heard from trustees are opinion, not fact.
"What works in Chicago, might not work in Boston or Austin," he explained. "Things are different, so it's hard to say this works."
Reddick said only about 40 of 2,200 studies are strong enough to make any solid claims. He told us the majority of those studies found any negative response was not due to single sex environments, but how teachers taught.
"We have to make sure that if this does come to pass, there's going to be a constant assessment of what's happening," Reddick said. "Really the whole city of Austin needs to be involved in this process."
By Katherine Stolp