Michael Smith, professor in Temple University’s College of Education and coauthor of Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys, said the language of crisis was overblown but noted that the facts are plain: Boys read later than girls and lag them in both reading and writing across grades. They read fewer books, and value reading less.
“If you go to your local high school, the basic-track classes are dominated by boys, and the AP courses are dominated by girls,” Smith said.
It’s not that boys aren’t reading, he said. It’s just that the things they are reading – comic books, video game manuals, sports magazines – aren’t valued by schools.