IYI says gender gap is closing in schools


Indiana Youth Institute’s Issue Alert, “Showdown at Gender Gap, Academic Battle of the Sexes: Trumped or True,” indicates that slim gaps in academic achievement exist in Indiana, but vary among the genders.

Gains in achievement depend on academic subjects and students’ ages.

Indiana girls outscore boys on the ISTEP language arts exam by a small margin in grades three and six and the gender gap has remained the same since 1999.

Good News: The percentages of male and female students who pass the ISTEP language arts exam in grades three and six are higher in the 2005-2006 school year than scores reported in 1999.

For grade three, both males and females scored seven percent better in the 2005-2006. For grade six, males scored 12 percent and females 11 percent better in 2005-2006.

Hoosier boys perform slightly better than girls on the ISTEP math exams for grades 3, 6 and 8.

Good News: Overall scores on the ISTEP math exams for grades 6, 8 and 10 for both boys and girls were higher in 2005 than in 1999.

In the 2005-2006 school year, boys in grade six scored 16 more points and girls 15 more than in 1999. Scores for students in grade eight were 54 points higher for boys and 53 for girls. Scores for boys in grade 10 scored 108 points more and girls 109 points than in 1999.

Although more high school girls in Indiana plan to attend college than boys (55.8 percent of females to 44.2 percent of males), enrollment numbers have remained virtually unchanged in the past decade.

Good News: College continuation rates among all Hoosiers have increased for the past two decades, and Indiana ranks 10th in the nation for the percentage of students who enter college after high school graduation.