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Single-sex classrooms: do they make the grade

   Who would want to live in a world without members of the opposite sex?

   OK, it's not quite that dire for the youngsters at two Buffalo public schools -- Houghton Academy and Westminster Community Charter School -- where the adolescent boys and girls are being educated separately in single-sex classrooms.

   It's a growing trend elsewhere around the country and has been the cornerstone of parochial school education since forever. But otherwise the initiative has been slow to catch on locally since federal regulations in 2006 gave public schools more latitude to establish all-girls and all-boys classrooms. It's an idea that has both its proponents and its detractors, even among the young people being educated in these environments.

   Does it put a damper on raging hormones? Does it decrease distractions and force more youngsters to focus more on their studies?


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