This paper will draw on all four authors’ work in the field of boys, masculinity and schooling in order to assess the work that has been done in the area and propose future directions which address the current ‘panic’ around boys and schooling. There has been substantial academic scholarship in the area of masculinity and schooling for more than 15 years. However, because this literature challenges hegemonic practices and privileges of masculinity it is not readily taken up in schools and classrooms. The current popular ‘panics’ around boys and achievement seem to be almost in reaction to this wealth of scholarship. It seems that research which challenges practices of masculinity in schools is anything but popular. The widely-available, non-academic, literature aimed at parents, teachers and administrators is often more appealing because of its reluctance to engage in the messiness of the real lives of boys. Boys’ academic underachievement has become a high profile issue precisely because it does not invite a critical interrogation of comfortable gender discourses. The authors of this paper will discuss the differences between academic scholarship, practices, and ‘panics’ regarding boys, masculinity and schooling and will discuss counter-hegemonic possibilities amidst the panic.