6/15/18—NCGS member Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA)—an all-girls math and science school in Los Angeles—is logging math scores significantly higher than its co-ed counterparts and already has a waiting list of 400 girls hoping to study at one of the state’s only single-sex public schools.
Elizabeth Hicks, GALA’s Principal and a member of the NCGS Board of Trustees, was the driving force behind the school’s beginnings in 2016. Having studied girls’ schools around the country, Hicks sought to create courses that would prepare girls for excelling in math and science in college. Since then, Hicks has seen girls more emboldened to participate in class, raise their hands, and ask questions. “Girls say they’re not intimidated,” shared Hicks. “Before, boys might have made fun of them for asking questions in class. Here, they’re more likely to talk, to dig a little deeper. They push each other to go higher. … It’s been an amazing two years.”
Girls’ school students have an edge in STEM over their coed peers, according to Megan Murphy, Executive Director of NCGS, because of the sheer volume of female mentors and role models at girls’ schools.
At girls’ schools, “girls take center stage,” shared Murphy. “The math team is all girls. The science Olympian is a girl. The student government is all girls. The editor of the newspaper is a girl. Every decision that’s made, is made with girls in mind. … And the results are quite astonishing.”
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