Posted on January 7, 2013 at 10:06 AM
AUSTIN -- The Austin School Board is picking up a heated discussion as members consider creating three single-sex schools.
Under the proposal both Pearce and Garcia Middle Schools in East Austin would become single-sex campuses. The district is also looking to build an all boys school.
There's been a lot of concern about the changes. In November the district held a public hearing at the Delco Activity Center. Most who came to speak were against the proposals.
“I don't want my school to change. I feel that it has a good education system,” said one student.
If approved one of the schools would cater to boys while the other would cater to girls. As for the proposed School for Young Men, students would have to apply to attend, just as they do at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.
The district cites the success of the Ann Richards School as proof that single-sex campuses are beneficial to students.
“There's a significant body of research that says females learn differently than males. We certainly see that in Ann Richards School,” explained Board President Vincent Torres during November’s public hearing.
The Ann Richards School was one of only two AISD campuses to earn the highest state ranking of “Exemplary” in 2010 and 2011.
Students can opt out of attending the schools. Officials say they would be assigned to one of several alternative middle schools instead.
Monday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at AISD's headquarters in downtown Austin. A final vote on the proposals is expected by the end of the month.