Only eight people showed up to speak to Austin Independent School District Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and a handful of school board members. The meeting was over in less than 30 minutes.
All eight said they were against turning Pearce College Prep Academy and Garcia Middle School into separate girls and boys campuses.
They disagreed with research the district has cited that suggests girls and boys learn at different rates.
“We know what works and it’s not separating them by gender and having the same people teach them with the same deficits,” said retired teacher Deanna Mercer. “We need to grow administrators and grow teachers.”
University of Texas Psychologist Rebecca Bigler put out a report last fall that said single-gender schools are not superior to coed campuses. She stepped up to the microphone Tuesday night.
“The Department of Education has declared that basing curriculum on gender stereotypes is unconstitutional,” said Bigler. “As a part of that, the American Civil Liberties Union has started a national campaign to sue schools doing single-sex schools much like AISD has proposed.”
KXAN News tried to talk to school board member Cheryl Bradley after Tuesday’s meeting. The two schools are in her district. She said she was too angry to talk, but did not say why.
At past school board meetings and work sessions, Bradley has been highly supportive of the single-gender campuses.