I asked William Ellis, Associate Headmaster for Enrollment Management, Director of Admission, and Director of Financial Aid at The Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, to discuss educating boys. Bill very kindly offered the following essay in response to my request. ~Rob Kennedy.
Boys’ residential college preparatory schools are more important now than ever before. Statistics, surveys, and polls all show that boys’ achievement is not as strong in high school as their female counterparts. Women outnumber men in four-year colleges by a nearly three-to-two ratio that has been growing since the late 1970s. Some would say a boy crisis in education is brewing or already here. I was at my niece’s graduation from a large, highly competitive university where anecdotally the Chancellor was a woman, the keynote speaker was a woman, the president of the senior class was a woman, three of the four honorees were women and an amazing 65% of the graduates were women. Having been raised in a house of four strong sisters and a superb Mom (Dad and I were outvoted often), believe me, I am proud of all of the strides made by women since I was a boy, and I do not think their journey is complete by any means.
Having spent the first 25 years of my career at independent coed boarding schools, I have had a front-row seat to this phenomenon, of consistently outperforming the boys. My colleagues used to ask me “What’s wrong with the boys?” At first, I