The school design has also been strategically informed by research on the efficacy of a single gender educational model for our student population. Recently, there has been an increased effort on the part of education reformers to remedy the seemingly ever-widening achievement gap in innovative and strategic ways. Studies indicate that one strategy to correct educational inequity and support strong student achievement lies in single-sex schooling.
Many theories have been offered as a reason that single-sex learning environments work better for some students. In single-sex schools, preoccupation with neighboring students of the opposite sex is eliminated, allowing for a more single-minded focus on academics. The U.S. Department of Education recently concluded “single-sex schooling can be helpful, especially for certain outcomes related to academic achievement and more positive academic aspirations.”
Further, Cornelius Riordan, educational researcher and Associate Professor of Sociology at Providence College, notes that positive results of single-sex education are most dramatic amongst African-American and Hispanic children. Riordan further adds that the performance of African-American and Hispanic students in single-sex schools is stronger on all tests, on average scoring almost a year higher than similar students in coeducational settings. In addition, our mission to prepare all students for college and our homegrown approach to saving our underprivileged communities makes PROFECTUS a network that will lead the charge to prove that charter schools can accomplish urban education reform. By the year 2020, PROFECTUS intends to open approximately nine schools in Jacksonville, serving 6,000 students, proving that the highest poverty students in the city can close the achievement gap, exceed expectations and supply an enormous influx of inner-city students capable of high level academic achievement at the college level. PROFECTUS strongly believes that the implementation of gender-based classes with a best-practiced, research-based academic model will transform into student learning gains.