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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    No boys allowed

    The Feds are allowing school districts to expand the number of single-sex classrooms and schools nationwide. The Bush administration’s support for the expansion is considered by many to be the most significant policy change on this front in 30 years. But not all have praised the move: The ACLU has indicated it may go to court to fight this type of gender segregation. So is increased federal support for single sex schools a good thing or not?

    As someone who spent four years attending a girls’ school, I can attest that the government’s choice to back single-gender schools is a good one.

    Perhaps unexpectedly, an environment of only girls provided more opportunity and less discrimination to me. Girls’ sports didn’t take a back seat to boys’ sports. I never had to hear a sexist comment from an oafish male student. If my science teachers felt boys were more suited to the sciences, there were none for them to favor.

    Sure, single-gender schools are not for everyone. But some students may learn better in a single-sex environment. We should understand that single-gender schools are not replacing, but merely broadening the spectrum of American education.

    – Lillie Kilburn is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

    Sure, increased governmental backing for same-sex schools is a good thing if you are interested in only girls’ scores. That’s right, women’s rights groups within the ACLU should seriously reconsider their opposition to the change in policy, as research suggests that girls perform better within same-sex schools. So really, women’s groups should welcome this new policy as a step toward increasing the performance of young girls in public schools. But the real question is about men. Sure, all-boy schools might remove a very large distraction, but past research also suggests that boys perform better when girls are around – chalk it up to us trying to get a date. Same-sex schools might prove better for girls, but not only will guys lose the best reason to attend school, it looks like their grades might suffer as well.

    – Stan Molever is a senior majoring in philosophy.

    Who needs books?

    According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, university libraries across the country are attempting to “”re-invent”” themselves as technology centers with a reduced emphasis on their collections of books. For some universities, this has meant storing books offsite or underground or even engaging in massive divestments of collections. Is this the wave of the future, or a sad fad?

    Libraries across the country are starting to undergo a monumental shift. Everyone has always thought of libraries as a reservoir of books. A good library was one with lots of books and space to study them. But what libraries have always really been about is information. As what used to be found only in books and journals is increasingly archived online, books are getting more and more unnecessary. Currently, books are still somewhat needed, but the UA library should move now, because in five years, books will be more irrelevant, and in another five years, even more so. This is not a knock on reading. Reading is more important than ever. But when reading is taking place on the Internet, the library should focus on computers for accessing that information, and on organizing it better than ever. Act now and make the library a place to study, collaborate, and get information.

    – Ryan Johnson is a senior majoring in economics and international studies.

    Getting rid of hundreds of books in exchange for a table with a couple of computers on it is no way for any library to act. Sure, a computer is a gateway to more information than is contained in any single book, but often the value of a book depends not on the amount or quality of the information within. There are hidden treasures in our library that were published in the 19th century – could a computer ever imitate the sensation of reading from pages that likely haven’t seen the light of day in 100 years?

    Let’s just hold our horses. More computer space will come, but hopefully not at the expense of books.

    – David Francis is a pre-business sophomore.

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