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Let's Hear It For The Boys

A new study casts doubt on the widely held belief that there's a "boy crisis" in education. The study reports that boys' test scores and college attendance has improved significantly over the past three decades.

The report, called "The Truth About Boys and Girls," was prepared by Education Sector, a think tank that used information gathered by a federally funded survey of educational progress since 1971.

The real story is not bad news about boys doing worse; it's good news about girls doing better. In fact, with a few exceptions, American boys are
scoring higher and achieving more than they ever have before. But girls have just improved their performance on some measures even faster, the report said.

Read the full report.
"Widespread paranoia about a crisis for boys is basically overblown," Education Sector's Sara Mead told CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews.

Mead said the strictly by-the-numbers academic achievement gap between boys and girls actually hasn't changed much for 30 years — that boys generally do better at math, girls at reading, and in some age groups, boys are narrowing even that gap.

The report said black and Hispanic boys do have serious educational issues, but that the problem should be viewed as mainly one of race and income rather than gender.

"Closing racial and economic gaps would help poor and minority boys more than closing gender gaps, and focusing on gender gaps may distract attention from the bigger problems facing these youngsters," the report said.

Doug Anglin, who attended Milton High School in Massachusettes, is not convinced. He thinks that girls are favored over boys in school, and he and his father have filed a federal civil rights complaint, Andrews reports. He'll soon join a college scene that is 57 percent female and 43 percent male.

"I think there is a systematic flaw that is favoring girls and negatively impacting boys," Anglin said.