Letter: Shine spotlight on discrepancy



The Aug. 28 “Spotlight on youth” identified 24 students from Fort Vancouver High School who won scholarships. I’m not at all unhappy for the 17 female students who received awards — congratulations to each of them.

On the other hand, I’m still somewhat alarmed by the fact that there were only seven male students identified as receiving scholarships.

The problem is that the awarding of scholarships is out of proportion to the gender distribution of the student body as a whole. If the discrepancy I’ve identified were related to ethnicity or race, people would be up in arms about it. I don’t understand why there’s not similar concern about the discrepancy in academic success. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.

There is a gender-based bias in public school programs well beyond the scope of just Fort Vancouver. I’m not saying it’s purposeful, but it’s obviously there or we would not be seeing the consistently disproportionate distribution of success that we see throughout the county. What is it about the curriculum that leads to a greater degree of success among female students? What can be done to overcome this discrepancy?

Is there anyone among the education community willing to take the lead in addressing this problem? I certainly hope so, as a solution to this problem would benefit everyone.

Phil McMichael