Some excellent insights into the problem of boys and schooling, courtesy of City Journal.
The essay "Where the Boys Aren't" by Kay S. Hymowitz notes that the reason for declining numbers of males in college (versus growing numbers of females) actually begins long before high school.
Consider some specifics. Boys have lower grades than girls throughout their primary and secondary school years. They have more behavior problems. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder; to wind up in special-education classes; and to be held back, be suspended, or drop out. Hence, they’re less likely to graduate from high school. In fact, the high school graduation gap between girls and boys is within a hair of the gap between poor and middle-class kids. Along with their subpar overall college graduation numbers, boys now constitute a minority of M.A.s and Ph.D.s and of medical and law students.
The educational "pipeline" feeding kids into high school and college has some serious leakage problems — primarily drowning out boys.
Although I often sound like a broken record, I cannot stress this often enough: We need to catch any reading struggles EARLY. Don't wait until middle school, or even upper primary school. Figure out why your son doesn't like to read right away—and do all you can to fix that attitude.
But as this piece makes clear, we also need to stop comparing boys to girls when it comes to learning styles, development, and academics. Boys are not suffering from IQ problems or other deficiencies.
From the City Journal piece:
Reading is where girls really trounce boys. Their superiority in “language arts” is the largest and most persistent finding in all the gender-gap data relevant to school performance. In teacher–student assessments in the early grades, the girl–boy gap in reading is more than 300 percent larger than the white–black reading gap...