Where Girls Come First: The Rise, Fall, and Surprising Revival of Girls' Schools

Front Cover
J.P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2004 - Education - 392 pages
A rich history of girls' schools in America, as well as an illuminating look at the strong convictions of parents and educators that have given birth to the recent wave of new all-girls schools cropping up all over the country.

Twenty years ago, all-girls schools seemed headed for extinction, a footnote in the broad story of American education. Today, they are experiencing a dramatic revival. In Where Girls Come First, Ilana DeBare weaves the first complete history of girls' schools in America with her own story of cofounding an all-girls school in Oakland, California, in 1999 with a small group of parents who, like her, believed passionately that single-sex education was best for their daughters. DeBare's personal account of building a school established on the idea that girls thrive in an environment that places them at center stage sheds crucial light on the current debate over single-sex education in America.

In this deeply insightful book, DeBare reveals how the radical struggle to educate women that began two hundred years ago is reflected in the visions of today's girls' schools. With vivid portraits of the brave women who built the first all-girls schools in this country, as well as profiles of the girls' schools of today-DeBare visited schools across America and interviewed alumnae about their experiences-this book succeeds in dismantling many of the lingering myths and misunderstandings that negatively impact contemporary perceptions of the girls' school experience. Where Girls Come First is vital reading for anyone committed to helping the girls of today develop into the strong women of tomorrow

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Where Girls Come First: The Rise, Fall, and Surprising Revival of Girls' Schools

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

What is the best educational situation for girls? DeBare begins her exploration of this question with a historical survey of girls' schools in the United States from the early 1800s through the ... Read full review


The Laptop and the Maypole
Radical Roots
Elite Enclaves

12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Ilana DeBare helped found the Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland, California. She was also a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and The Sacramento Bee.

Bibliographic information