President Clinton marked the 25th anniversary of Title IX in Washington last week by extending the law to include federally run schools for American Indians and military families and promising to crack down on violations of the law.
"Ironically, Title IX does not apply to the programs that the national government runs itself," Mr. Clinton said. "The national government must hold itself to the same high standards it expects from everyone else."
The 1972 law bars sex discrimination in education institutions that receive federal aid. It is best known for its effects on collegiate and scholastic sports, but it also applies to academics.
The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights is the agency primarily responsible for enforcing Title IX, but other federal agencies, such as the Defense Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, run education programs subject to the law.
Mr. Clinton said that he was giving federal agencies 90 days to strengthen their enforcement of the Title IX "by reviewing current procedures, consulting with the attorney general on the best way to improve them, and delivering to me a new and vigorous enforcement plan." ("25 Years After Title IX, Sexual Bias In K-12 Sports Still Sidelines Girls," June 18, 1997.)
"Complying with Title IX is not optional," Mr. Clinton said. "It is the law, and the law must be enforced."
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is giving high schools an indefinite period of time to submit descriptions of courses that they want to count toward incoming freshmen's eligibility to compete in college sports.
After coming under criticism for the way it determines eligibility, the Overland Park, Kan.-based association announced in April that it had revised its system for evaluating high school courses. ("NCAA Revises Analysis Of High School Courses," April 9, 1997.)
The changes, called "A New Game Plan," were intended to clear up confusion and streamline the process. The plan gives the nation's 24,000 high schools more information on the core-course approval process and provides them with a detailed form for requesting core-course changes, which were to be submitted to the NCAA by May 31 this year.
To date, the association has received data on nearly 13,000 courses from 6,000 schools, officials said. With more expected in the coming months, NCAA officials have lifted the deadline so that schools have more time to respond with core-course information.
Although decisions used to be based on course titles, the new system requires schools to provide information about course content.
--KERRY A. WHITEkwhite@epe.org