The percentage by which young male eighth-graders trail their female counterparts in scoring at advanced levels on reading portions of state tests in 2009, according to a study released this week by the Center on Education Policy.


The percentage by which young male eighth-graders trail female peers in scoring proficient or higher on the reading portions of state assessments (the gap shrinks to four percent when the percentage of students scoring advanced is extrapolated from the total).


The number of states in which the gap in reading between young male and female eighth-graders has widened. It narrowed in just 1o states.


The number of young white, black, Latino and Native American eighth-grade men who will not progress to senior year of high school, according to an analysis of Common Core data by Dropout Nation using the Promoting Power Index. That is more than the 135,329 young women eighth-graders of the same ethnic and racial backgrounds will not be promoted to senior year. The average five-year promoting power rate for young eighth-grade men is four points lower than than for their female peers — and eight points for young black men in eighth-grade than for their sisters and peers.

As much time as we spend on the achievement gaps between white and minority students, the even more stunning gaps in achievement between young men and young women — a problem that defies race, ethnicity and economic status — is given short shrift. In doing so, we ignore the consequences of the gaps — and their underlying causes in the form of low literacy levels, overdiagnosis of learning disabilities among young men, the lack of strong male role models in classrooms during the elementary grades, and the overall crisis of low-quality teaching and curriculum throughout American public education — to the peril of both young men and the young women who will one day will be searching for mates to marry. And for Black America, the consequences can be seen in prisons, on street corners and in the lack of young black men in top positions in Corporate America and philanthropic settings. It is time to address this important achievement gap — or face the consequences.