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Title IX Turns 40: What's Left to Do?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 2 to 3 p.m. ET
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 Title IX Turns 40: What's Left to Do?(06/27/2012) 
9:51
EdWeek Bryan: 
Good morning, and welcome to today's chat, "Title IX Turns 40: What's Left to Do?" Thanks for joining us today.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 9:51 EdWeek Bryan
9:51
EdWeek Bryan: 
I've just opened the chat for questions, so please, start submitting any you have down below.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 9:51 EdWeek Bryan
9:52
EdWeek Bryan: 
We'll be back at 2 p.m. Eastern with Erik Robelen, Nirvi Shah, and myself. Hope to see you all then!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 9:52 EdWeek Bryan
1:24
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks again for joining us today, folks. We'll get underway with today's chat in just over a half-hour from now. In the meantime, keep those questions coming!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 1:24 Bryan Toporek
1:25
Bryan Toporek: 
For a little bit of background reading on today's chat, check out our Title IX at 40 collection page, which has articles from all three of us about the anniversary: http://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/titleix/index.html
Wednesday June 27, 2012 1:25 Bryan Toporek
1:55
Bryan Toporek: 
Folks, we're just about ready to get underway. We'll be starting right at the top of the hour. Please keep sending those questions in -- we've got some great ones already.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 1:55 Bryan Toporek
2:01
Bryan Toporek: 
Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for joining us for today's free chat, "Title IX Turns 40: What's Left to Do?" My name's Bryan, and I'll be your moderator for the day.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:01 Bryan Toporek
2:01
Bryan Toporek: 
This is EdWeek's first-ever reporter-led chat, so please, bear with us through any minor hiccups.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:01 Bryan Toporek
2:01
Bryan Toporek: 
Today, I'm joined by my colleagues Erik Robelen and Nirvi Shah, who both helped out with our Title IX at 40 collection.
http://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/titleix/index.html
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:01 Bryan Toporek
2:01
Bryan Toporek: 
Erik & Nirvi, could you both briefly introduce yourselves & talk about what you covered for the Title IX anniversary collection?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:01 Bryan Toporek
2:02
Erik Robelen: 
I'm a reporter here at EdWeek covering the curriculum beat.

I'll confess that when I started this project, I had very little understanding of Title IX's impact on academics, the core focus of my story. I'm still learning, of course, but it became clear that it's been important, though perhaps more clearly so in higher education than K-12. Indeed, one key point is that it's hard to discern what changes came as a result of Title IX as opposed to broader social and economic shifts. One expert described it to me as a "melting pot" of forces.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:02 Erik Robelen
2:02
Nirvi Shah: 
Hi everyone. I'm a staff writer here at Education Week, too, writing about special education and other issues.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:02 Nirvi Shah
2:02
Bryan Toporek: 
Great! Thanks, guys.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:02 Bryan Toporek
2:02
Nirvi Shah: 
I learned that some of Title IX's lesser-known protections are extended to pregnant and parenting teens and protect victims of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Students in these scenarios must get the same access to education as others, but that's not always the case.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:02 Nirvi Shah
2:02
Erik Robelen: 
The main area I ended up focusing on was STEM education, where there is still evidence of some gender gaps in terms of achievement, coursetaking, and especially females pursuing careers.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:02 Erik Robelen
2:03
Bryan Toporek: 
And I'm Bryan Toporek, a contributing writer for EdWeek and the author of the Schooled in Sports blog. I focused specifically on the athletic side of Title IX for our 40th anniversary coverage.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:03 Bryan Toporek
2:03
Bryan Toporek: 
I want to start off today's chat with a question from Ken Addams. Let's all take a stab at this one.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:03 Bryan Toporek
2:03
[Comment From Ken AddamsKen Addams: ] 
What's the most surprising thing about Title IX that you learned in your reporting?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:03 Ken Addams
2:04
Bryan Toporek: 
@Ken: To me, the most surprising fact came from Bernice Sandler, the so-called godmother of Title IX. She pointed out that girls' participation rates in H.S. sports in 2010-11 hadn't even hit the same level as boys from the pre-Title IX era.

I think roughly 3.7 million boys played H.S. sports in 1971-72, and only 3.2 million girls played in 2010-11 (the most recent available data).
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:04 Bryan Toporek
2:05
Erik Robelen: 
Ken, I was most surprised to see evidence that a STEM achievement gap persists. I learned, for example, that in every single STEM course offered by the AP, females trailed males in achievement (on average), based on data for the graduating class of 2011. I saw further evidence, especially in science, but sometimes in math, based on NAEP and even global data.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:05 Erik Robelen
2:05
Nirvi Shah: 
Hi Ken.
For me, I had no idea that pregnant and parenting teens are covered by Title IX. In some states, these students were actually expressly cut out of getting the same educational opportunities as other students. The National Women's Law Center worked on changing those prohibitions, which existed until recently in Georgia and Michigan.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:05 Nirvi Shah
2:05
Erik Robelen: 
One last point, on achievement, though. I found that what's true in the U.S. is not necessarily so overseas. That is, while both TIMSS and PISA data show a gap with girls trailing, in some other countries there is no achievement gap in STEM, and in some cases girls outpaced boys.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:05 Erik Robelen
2:06
Nirvi Shah: 
And I found that I wasn't alone in my ignorance: A lot of schools don't know about their responsibilities under Title IX when it comes to pregnant and parenting teens and in cases of sexual violence and harassment.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:06 Nirvi Shah
2:07
Bryan Toporek: 
That's excellent. Thanks, both of you.

I'll admit, before this project started, I'm like Nirvi & Erik. I didn't realize just how widespread the application of Title IX was.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:07 Bryan Toporek
2:07
Bryan Toporek: 
Next, I'd like to hear all three of us respond to this question from Ben Roth:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:07 Bryan Toporek
2:07
[Comment From Ben RothBen Roth: ] 
Given the social progression that has taken place over the past 40 years, do you think Title IX was really necessary? Wouldn't we have more or less wound up where we are now anyway?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:07 Ben Roth
2:08
Nirvi Shah: 
I have thoughts on Ben's question.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:08 Nirvi Shah
2:09
Nirvi Shah: 
Considering that the U.S. Education Department is contemplating guidance on how schools should treat pregnant and parenting teens now, in 2012, and just issued guidance on sexual harassment and violence, I'd say, Ben, maybe not just yet.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:09 Nirvi Shah
2:09
Bryan Toporek: 
@Ben: In reporting this story, multiple sources told me it's difficult to differentiate how much of the K-12 gender equality movement happened because of Title IX vs. how much can be credited to social changes happening anyway.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:09 Bryan Toporek
2:09
Erik Robelen: 
I can't answer that question with certainty in terms of academics, though I will tell you that many of the experts I consulted believe the law has helped to produce important inroads. At the same time, folks were quick to acknowledged, as I mentioned previously, that it's more likely a "melting pot" of influences: economic, social, and legal.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:09 Erik Robelen
2:10
Bryan Toporek: 
Like Erik, many of the experts I spoke with believe that Title IX accelerated the process. The government could hold schools accountable for gender equality suddenly, which may have spurred changes.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:10 Bryan Toporek
2:11
Bryan Toporek: 
Let's all tackle this question from Nancy next:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:11 Bryan Toporek
2:11
Nirvi Shah: 
And one more thought: There's still a lot of stigma to being a teen mother. Girls as young as 12 are getting pregnant (statutory rape victims, really). They're easy targets for discrimination.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:11 Nirvi Shah
2:11
[Comment From NancyNancy: ] 
For all: When researching Title IX, what area of the law did you see as the least developed or with the most significant gaps in terms of being fleshed out through litigation?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:11 Nancy
2:11
Erik Robelen: 
Also, Ben, Title IX had spill-over effects on other laws, such as the Carl D. Perkins vocational ed law, which now has provisions to ensure better gender balance in vocational programs. It hasn't solved that issue, but experts tell me it's been helpful.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:11 Erik Robelen
2:12
Erik Robelen: 
To my knowledge, there has not been much litigation on the academic side of Title IX, though I stand to be corrected. I know the ACLU has recently sent out some "cease and desist" letters challenging how some districts are employing single-gender classrooms. They are permissable under the law, but subject to some legal constraints.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:12 Erik Robelen
2:13
Bryan Toporek: 
@Nancy: For me, it's a little difficult to say, because the athletic side of Title IX has been fleshed out in courts throughout its history. The three-prong proportionality test, specifically, has been challenged repeatedly.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:13 Bryan Toporek
2:13
Bryan Toporek: 
@Nancy, cont: I know, for instance, that the American Sports Council filed a lawsuit against ED last year over the application of the three-prong test to high school sports. It was dismissed without comment earlier this year, though.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:13 Bryan Toporek
2:13
Nirvi Shah: 
Hi Nancy. Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but I think in the cases of pregnant and parenting teens, these students don't always know they have rights, and they don't always pursue a lawsuit. But national groups like the AAUW and NWLC have taken action on these students' behalfs.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:13 Nirvi Shah
2:14
Erik Robelen: 
Also, Nancy, in the mid-2000s, the Bush administration made some federal rule changes to ease federal requirements for single-sex classrooms. One advocate for that was former Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:14 Erik Robelen
2:14
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks, Nirvi & Erik.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:14 Bryan Toporek
2:15
Bryan Toporek: 
Erik, would you mind fielding this question from Pat Thomas? I think you're best equipped for this one:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:15 Bryan Toporek
2:15
[Comment From Pat ThomasPat Thomas: ] 
Women are now outpacing men in the academic sphere -- graduation rates, college attendance rates, etc. Does Title IX have a role in this? How can men catch up?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:15 Pat Thomas
2:16
Erik Robelen: 
Pat, that's an excellent question. I'm not sure I have a good answer, other than to say the law is about gender equity, not simply equity for women. So it certainly could be explored. However, whether the legal route is the best course at this point would no doubt be a subject for considerable debate.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:16 Erik Robelen
2:17
Bryan Toporek: 
Great point, Erik. Multiple experts stressed that to me, too -- that Title IX isn't just for women, it's about gender inequality for both males and females.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:17 Bryan Toporek
2:17
Bryan Toporek: 
Let's all field this question from T.Bowe next:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:17 Bryan Toporek
2:17
[Comment From T. BoweT. Bowe: ] 
Who bears the brunt of enforcing Title IX? Is it individual teachers? Administrators? How can students advocate for themselves?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:17 T. Bowe
2:18
Nirvi Shah: 
I could start this one off.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:18 Nirvi Shah
2:18
Bryan Toporek: 
Go ahead, Nirvi! I'll chime in after.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:18 Bryan Toporek
2:20
Nirvi Shah: 
School districts need to have policies in place to protect all students, T. Bowe. One of the ultimate enforcers is the Ed. Dept.'s office for civil rights. Here's the complaint form: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:20 Nirvi Shah
2:20
Erik Robelen: 
On the enforcement front, I know that the U.S. Education Department's office for civil rights is currently investigating a Colorado school district. The issue there is questions about equal access to STEM-focused coursework in high school.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:20 Erik Robelen
2:20
Bryan Toporek: 
@T. Bowe: Great question. Many of the Title IX advocates I spoke with said that the responsibility falls upon everyone, ultimately. Students, parents, coaches, teachers, schools, the Office for Civil Rights, etc.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:20 Bryan Toporek
2:21
Erik Robelen: 
I believe the issue in that Colorado district is especially access to AP courses in STEM fields.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:21 Erik Robelen
2:21
Nirvi Shah: 
And at T. Bowe, the OCR recently intervened in this case about a student who reported a rape and was punished--sent to the same alternative school as her accused attacker: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/District_Dossier/2012/06/texas_district_violated_title_.html
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:21 Nirvi Shah
2:21
Bryan Toporek: 
@T. Bowe (cont.): Parents and students were encouraged to speak with school/district officials if they had any Title IX concerns. Otherwise, they could contact agencies like the National Women's Law Center, or, as Erik/Nirvi mentioned, the federal OCR.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:21 Bryan Toporek
2:22
Nirvi Shah: 
and the ACLU.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:22 Nirvi Shah
2:22
Bryan Toporek: 
A comment from Joanne in response to Pat Thomas' question earlier, before we move forward:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:22 Bryan Toporek
2:22
[Comment From Joanne ZeringueJoanne Zeringue: ] 
@Pat, Good question. We see a high dropout rate among our minority students. They often end up on the streets and worse. Title IX should be used to supply educational and training opportunities to help these young men find success. We need student advocates.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:22 Joanne Zeringue
2:22
Erik Robelen: 
Yes, as Nirvi mentioned, the ACLU is another avenue. As I mentioned earlier, they recently sent 'cease and desist' letters to some school districts with regard to single-sex ed.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:22 Erik Robelen
2:23
Bryan Toporek: 
Along these same lines of Title IX compliance, let's all answer this question from Ashford K.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:23 Bryan Toporek
2:23
[Comment From Ashford K.Ashford K.: ] 
How easily are schools that violate Title IX caught? There have to be some districts out there that aren't in compliance with the law, right?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:23 Ashford K.
2:23
Erik Robelen: 
Here's a link to a blog post I wrote about the ACLU action on Title IX and single-sex ed:
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2012/06/aclu_to_districts_cease_and_de.html?qs=erik+and+single-gender
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:23 Erik Robelen
2:24
Nirvi Shah: 
Absolutely @Ashford K. Complaints drive enforcement in two ways: They reform individual districts and schools, and they send a message to other districts about their responsibilities. But at any given time, I'm certain there are a number of violations that are going unchecked.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:24 Nirvi Shah
2:25
Bryan Toporek: 
@Ashford: There are definitely districts out there today that aren't in compliance with Title IX. OCR continually investigates Title IX complaints they receive.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:25 Bryan Toporek
2:25
Erik Robelen: 
To my knowledge, Ashford, there have been very few federal investigations into potential Title IX violations in the academic domain. And I'm not aware of any explicit legal actions in recent times to require academic changes at K-12 schools tied to Title IX. But if anyone watching this web chat knows of examples, please let us know!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:25 Erik Robelen
2:26
Bryan Toporek: 
@Ashford (cont): In terms of athletics, it's tough, because there isn't anything at the high school level like the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, which requires colleges to submit annual athletics participation data broken down by gender.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:26 Bryan Toporek
2:26
Nirvi Shah: 
The OCR does collect a lot of data about boys and girls and disparate opportunities -- data they want folks in the real world to use to empower and inform themselves. Link coming up.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:26 Nirvi Shah
2:27
Nirvi Shah: 
Here we go: http://ocrdata.ed.gov/
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:27 Nirvi Shah
2:27
Bryan Toporek: 
I know some women's sports advocates are pushing for similar legislation at the high school level. Having that kind of data available to the public could make certain Title IX challenges easier to prove.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:27 Bryan Toporek
2:27
Nirvi Shah: 
The data isn't perfect, but it's a starting point.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:27 Nirvi Shah
2:27
Erik Robelen: 
Yes, Nirvi and I recently did some reporting related to the federal OCR data. I believe they did find some evidence of gender imbalances in STEM coursetaking.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:27 Erik Robelen
2:28
Bryan Toporek: 
Let's next take this question from Drew. All three of us can chime in if we have anything to add:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:28 Bryan Toporek
2:28
[Comment From Drew WindDrew Wind: ] 
What do you think was the impetus for Title IX? What was the tipping point that made is necessary in that moment?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:28 Drew Wind
2:29
Nirvi Shah: 
Just to follow up on what Erik said, here's a link to some of that reporting: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2012/03/new_federally-collected_data_s.html
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:29 Nirvi Shah
2:29
Bryan Toporek: 
@Drew: Based on my interview with Bernice Sandler, it sounds like academics were the initial focus of Title IX. (She says they didn't even consider its application to athletics initially!)
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:29 Bryan Toporek
2:29
Bryan Toporek: 
Erik will likely speak more about this, but it sounds like admissions rates in higher education were drastically skewed in favor of men.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:29 Bryan Toporek
2:29
Nirvi Shah: 
@Bryan, wow. Fascinating!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:29 Nirvi Shah
2:31
Erik Robelen: 
Drew, as Bryan mentioned, I know there were deep concerns at that time about the imbalance of women pursuing higher education, and graduate education. For example, in 1972, just 7 percent of law degrees were earned by females. Today the figure is about 47 percent, I believe.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:31 Erik Robelen
2:31
Nirvi Shah: 
Now, folks so desperately want people to think of it as applying to so much BESIDES sports.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:31 Nirvi Shah
2:32
Erik Robelen: 
Drew, to say a bit more, as it was explained to me, many colleges and universities prior to Title IX excluded women or set quotas or other policies that effectively excluded them (like limited access to scholarships).
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:32 Erik Robelen
2:32
Bryan Toporek: 
Great point, Nirvi. Somewhat ironically, the words "sports" or "athletics" don't ever appear in the text of Title IX. Yet, it's most often associated with athletics, typically.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:32 Bryan Toporek
2:33
Erik Robelen: 
To echo what Nirvi and Bryan have said, many people do not realize Title IX's implications for academics.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:33 Erik Robelen
2:33
Nirvi Shah: 
And there's newer applications of the law in an era of awareness about bullying. Bullying that is sexual in nature or targets LGBT youth can fall under the Title IX umbrella.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:33 Nirvi Shah
2:34
Bryan Toporek: 
Great points, all.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:34 Bryan Toporek
2:34
Bryan Toporek: 
OK, Erik, can you field this question from Cecilia?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:34 Bryan Toporek
2:34
[Comment From CeciliaCecilia: ] 
What's going on in the voc-tech area vis a vis Title IX? When I was a kid, girls took home ec., boys shop. Has the law changed those traditions?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:34 Cecilia
2:35
Bryan Toporek: 
And I'm going to take a crack at this question from MC:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:35 Bryan Toporek
2:35
[Comment From MCMC: ] 
From the research on Title IX and sports, what historic figures & facts do you think young people today would find most surprising/interesting. And how might one convey the true weight of launching Title IX in the '70s for children today who have so many more athletic opportunities including viewing professional women athletes in the media?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:35 MC
2:36
Erik Robelen: 
Great question, Cecilia. In my reporting, I learned that while there has been some progress in voc ed, there remain some real problems. For example, heavy gender imbalances persist in some areas, such as cosmetology, automotive mechanics, construction, and health care.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:36 Erik Robelen
2:36
Bryan Toporek: 
@MC: The figure that most surprised me about Title IX & sports? In the year before Title IX passed, less than 300,000 female athletes participated in organized H.S. sports. Now? Over 3 million. Literally a ten-fold increase over the past 40 years.

But, as I mentioned earlier, the # of girls in H.S. sports now still hasn't even reached the number of boys from 1971-72.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:36 Bryan Toporek
2:37
Bryan Toporek: 
As someone who was born after the passage of Title IX, I think it speaks wonders to the effectiveness of the law that I literally can't imagine what it would be like to go to school and only have boys' sports teams.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:37 Bryan Toporek
2:38
Bryan Toporek: 
Here's a great question from Hank. Let's all three try to answer this one:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:38 Bryan Toporek
2:38
[Comment From HankHank: ] 
Have there been any unintended consequences of Title IX? Do you think any students have been disenfranchised because of it?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:38 Hank
2:38
Erik Robelen: 
Cecilia, to say one more thing on voc ed, many advocates caution that there's only so much a federal law can do, given social stereotypes etc... But we are seeing some shifts, such as growing participation of males in nursing, for example. Sometimes economics can be the most powerful driver. People need jobs, and that's an area with lots of jobs.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:38 Erik Robelen
2:38
Nirvi Shah: 
Hi Hank: I'm sure some would argue that boys, especially male athletes, have suffered in the move for equal access to educational opportunities and athletics. We've all heard about schools that cut some sports programs--male programs--to equalize athletic opportunities. But I'm sure there are schools that have found more creative solutions than cutting boys' teams.

Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:38 Nirvi Shah
2:39
Bryan Toporek: 
@Hank: Glad you asked this. As Nirvi said, it seems like one of the main arguments against Title IX currently is the theory that Title IX has resulted in men's sports (besides football & basketball) being cut.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:39 Bryan Toporek
2:39
Bryan Toporek: 
That said: Russlynn Ali of OCR and many other experts dismiss that line of thinking.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:39 Bryan Toporek
2:40
Erik Robelen: 
Hank, another area may be single-gender classrooms. I'll leave it to others to debate the value of this practice, but for many years schools steered clear of this practice for fear of lawsuits. With the changes in the mid-2000s, it's gaining some ground, though still pretty limited.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:40 Erik Robelen
2:40
Nirvi Shah: 
And Hank, there may be others who say those accused of sexual harassment and violence who may temporarily lose access to educational opportunities--say in the course of an investigation, to ensure a safe, not hostile environment for the victim--are disenfranchised by the law.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:40 Nirvi Shah
2:41
Bryan Toporek: 
Experts like Ms. Ali & others say it's wrong to blame Title IX for cuts to minor men's sports. They say those are budgetary decisions made by individual schools. Schools could choose to allocate less money to football or men's basketball, if they wanted. It's a matter of priorities, they'd argue.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:41 Bryan Toporek
2:42
Bryan Toporek: 
Let's all take this question from Gordon Joe next:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:42 Bryan Toporek
2:42
[Comment From Gordon JoeGordon Joe: ] 
Do you know whether Title IX has succeeded in improving a cultural understanding that women and men should be treated equally?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:42 Gordon Joe
2:43
Bryan Toporek: 
@Gordon: As Erik said earlier, it's difficult to know exactly how much responsibility Title IX can take. Social changes definitely play a part, too.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:43 Bryan Toporek
2:43
Nirvi Shah: 
Probably to an extent, Gordon. But there are still inequalities in say, how much men and women are paid for doing the same job, for example. And it was just in 2007 that New York closed some of its schools for pregnant girls, where "geometry" was learning to quilt. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/education/24educ.html?_r=1
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:43 Nirvi Shah
2:43
Erik Robelen: 
Gordon, that is a tough one! My guess is that it has helped in that increased access by women to higher education and certain professions, whether the law, medicine, scientific research, has helped men to appreciate the valuable contributions women can make to society and the world.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:43 Erik Robelen
2:44
Bryan Toporek: 
But, again, I can't imagine schools without girls' sports. So, I think that says something about the law & how it's changed perceptions over the past 40 years.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:44 Bryan Toporek
2:44
Nirvi Shah: 
Hear, hear, Bryan (from a former high school volleyball player).
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:44 Nirvi Shah
2:45
Bryan Toporek: 
Let's all jump to this question from Marge... interested to hear everyone's thoughts on this one.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:45 Bryan Toporek
2:45
[Comment From MargeMarge: ] 
Should there be any changes made to Title IX at this point?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:45 Marge
2:45
Nirvi Shah: 
I was terrible, in case anyone was wondering, but at least I had the chance to play!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:45 Nirvi Shah
2:45
Erik Robelen: 
One addition point about professions. One of the clearest remaining gender imbalances is in the STEM professions, where recent federal data show women account for just one-fourth of the workforce. Only one in seven engineers is a woman. I can tell you that this is an issue that is of concern to many business and political leaders, if our nation is to remain economically competitive.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:45 Erik Robelen
2:46
Bryan Toporek: 
Glad you mentioned the STEM disparity, Erik... we'll take another question on that in just a moment, after we get back to Marge.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:46 Bryan Toporek
2:46
Nirvi Shah: 
Hi Marge: I don't know about changes to the law itself. I think it's all about enforcement. If/when the office for civil rights issues guidance about the treatment of pregnant and parenting teens, it won't be writing new law. But it will provide very explicit information for schools about students' rights.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:46 Nirvi Shah
2:47
Bryan Toporek: 
@Marge: Athletically, the law's been pretty fleshed out in courts already. Of course, OCR is constantly monitoring complaints, and could always issue additional guidance in terms of how to interpret specific portions of the law.

For instance, the three-prong proportionality test wasn't included in the original law passed in 1972. It was introduced in OCR guidance in late 1979.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:47 Bryan Toporek
2:47
Erik Robelen: 
To echo Nirvi's point, I agree that the main issues have to do with enforcement and interpretation of the law.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:47 Erik Robelen
2:48
Bryan Toporek: 
Alright, Erik, as promised... can you take this STEM question from Sarita?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:48 Bryan Toporek
2:48
[Comment From Sarita Pillai, EDC Inc.Sarita Pillai, EDC Inc.: ] 
There are certain professions which have achieved at least some degree of gender parity (law, medicine, etc). We currently do not see that in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Any thoughts on how the successes in fields like medicine and law could be replicated in STEM fields to bring more women into those professions?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:48 Sarita Pillai, EDC Inc.
2:51
Bryan Toporek: 
Nirvi, would you mind answering this question from Nancy?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:51 Bryan Toporek
2:51
Erik Robelen: 
Great question, Sarita. I don't have any easy answer, of course. But experts tell me one key ingredient is reaching girls an earlier, formative stage, before they steer away from an emphasis on the STEM fields. They point to a variety of initiatives out there that are explicitly aimed at getting girls more interested in STEM fields and careers. Examples mentioned to me include the National Girls Collaborative Project and GirlStart, but there are many, many others. And policymakers are paying more attention to this, too.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:51 Erik Robelen
2:51
[Comment From NancyNancy: ] 
Were any of you given any indication as to when the pregnant and parenting students guidance will come out?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:51 Nancy
2:51
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks, Erik. Glad you mentioned some specific initiatives.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:51 Bryan Toporek
2:51
Bryan Toporek: 
I'm going to quickly field this question from W. Welches:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:51 Bryan Toporek
2:51
[Comment From W. WelchesW. Welches: ] 
What are some examples of gender discrimination in athletics that are still going on today?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:51 W. Welches
2:52
Bryan Toporek: 
@W. Welches: Glad you asked. Mainly, questions of proportionality aren't popping up as frequently anymore, as far as I've heard. Instead, many cases now revolve around inequal facilities.

For instance, a boys' baseball team playing on a brand-new field with bleachers & concession stands, vs. a girls' softball team playing on a run-down field with no extra amenities. Or scheduling disparities -- girls only playing on weeknights, with boys sports getting primetime/weekend games.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:52 Bryan Toporek
2:52
Nirvi Shah: 
Hi Nancy, as I mentioned in this story, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said this guidance will come out this year, I believe, back in January, and Assistant Secretary Russlyn Ali told me recently that it will be soon. I think it is definitely a priority, but there are many pressing issues OCR is dealing with simultaneously. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/06/13/35titleixsocial.h31.html
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:52 Nirvi Shah
2:53
Bryan Toporek: 
A comment from Joanne in response to Sarita's question, before we move on:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:53 Bryan Toporek
2:53
[Comment From Joanne ZeringueJoanne Zeringue: ] 
@Pillai, I believe that interest in STEM needs to begin at a young age. I see much improvement in programming and STEM opportunities targeting girls. The seed has to be planted early and elementary teachers need to be STEM trained.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:53 Joanne Zeringue
2:53
Bryan Toporek: 
Alright, let's next move to this question from Vivian. Erik & Nirvi, thoughts?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:53 Bryan Toporek
2:53
[Comment From Vivian GuilfoyVivian Guilfoy: ] 
Many of the advances in sports, employment, boardrooms, classrooms and law came about because ordinary women and men worked together in some extraordinary ways to advance gender equity. We've captured these stories in a book titled "More than Title IX: How Equity in Education has Shaped the Nation." Based on your series and research, whodo you think will be the next generation "standard bearers" to build on all the achievments to date?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:53 Vivian Guilfoy
2:55
Nirvi Shah: 
Hi Vivian. That's a good question. I think some of the people leading the charge are advocacy organizations that are focused on Title IX. They are relentless in their mission. Check out the National Coalition for Women & Girls in Education's report on Title IX at 40, for example. http://www.ncwge.org/
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:55 Nirvi Shah
2:56
Bryan Toporek: 
Great question, Vivian. Not to totally cop out, but from the athletic side, I think it'll depend largely on the group of young female athletes who were able to participate in school sports because of Title IX.

Most former athletes are more than happy to talk about how sports benefited their lives, and I think those same girls will be the ones ensuring that those opportunities exist for their children, too.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:56 Bryan Toporek
2:56
Bryan Toporek: 
Okay, two more quick questions before we wrap up here...
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:56 Bryan Toporek
2:57
Bryan Toporek: 
Let's all first share our thoughts on this one, from Sandy:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:57 Bryan Toporek
2:57
[Comment From Sandy D.Sandy D.: ] 
Where do you think Title IX has truly made the biggest impact?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:57 Sandy D.
2:57
Erik Robelen: 
Vivian, I believe that female astronaut Sally Ride is an example of someone engaged in helping more girls break the STEM barrier. Certainly, role models like that can be critically important.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:57 Erik Robelen
2:58
Bryan Toporek: 
@Sandy: That's tough to say. It's most often associated with athletics, but I might argue it's made just as large of an impact on academics. I can't imagine a world where women are denied admission to postsecondary institutions just because of their gender.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:58 Bryan Toporek
2:58
Bryan Toporek: 
@Sandy (cont): That said, the fact that there's been a ten-fold increase in female H.S. athletes since the passage of Title IX... it's made an undeniably huge impact in athletics, too.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:58 Bryan Toporek
2:59
Nirvi Shah: 
And while there's still more work to be done for pregnant and parenting teens and regarding sexual violence and harassment, there's definitely been progress, at least.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:59 Nirvi Shah
2:59
Bryan Toporek: 
Well said, Nirvi.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:59 Bryan Toporek
2:59
Bryan Toporek: 
OK, let's wrap up with this question from Steve. I'd like to hear all of our thoughts on this one:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:59 Bryan Toporek
2:59
[Comment From SteveSteve: ] 
Do you really think it's possible to get to a point where Title IX isn't needed? Will we ever reach a place of gender equality in education?
Wednesday June 27, 2012 2:59 Steve
3:00
Nirvi Shah: 
I think that's hard for many people to imagine, Steve.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:00 Nirvi Shah
3:00
Bryan Toporek: 
@Steve: I honestly don't know if we'll ever reach a point in time where Title IX isn't needed. I think it's helping hold schools accountable in terms of gender equality, which might always be necessary.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:00 Bryan Toporek
3:01
Erik Robelen: 
That's a very tough question, Steve. But I will once again remind folks of the HUGE inroads women have made in the academic and professional spheres since Title IX was enacted. Yes, still some trouble areas, but if you look back to 1972, it's a different world altogether.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:01 Erik Robelen
3:02
Nirvi Shah: 
In so many ways!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:02 Nirvi Shah
3:02
Bryan Toporek: 
Great point, Erik. I think that's an excellent place to stop for today.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:02 Bryan Toporek
3:02
Bryan Toporek: 
I'd like to thank you all again for joining us for today's Title IX chat. Special thanks to my colleagues Erik & Nirvi for being such willing guinea pigs in our first-ever reporter-led chat!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:02 Bryan Toporek
3:03
Bryan Toporek: 
We'll have a transcript of today's chat available at the same link within the hour.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:03 Bryan Toporek
3:03
Nirvi Shah: 
And thanks to you, Bryan, for doing most of the work!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:03 Nirvi Shah
3:03
Erik Robelen: 
This was fun! Thanks to Nirvi and to Bryan, who both was moderater and guest!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:03 Erik Robelen
3:03
Bryan Toporek: 
If you haven't seen our Title IX collection, make sure you check that out here:
http://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/titleix/index.html
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:03 Bryan Toporek
3:03
Bryan Toporek: 
And let's end on this thought from Vivian, in response to Steve's question:
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:03 Bryan Toporek
3:03
[Comment From VivianVivian: ] 
Some form of Title IX that keeps equity alive for girls and boys should always exist. The airplane was created a long time ago and we are still working on improving it today.
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:03 Vivian
3:04
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks again, everyone, for joining us today. Have a great rest of the week!
Wednesday June 27, 2012 3:04 Bryan Toporek
3:04
 

 
 
 

Title IX Turns 40: What's Left to Do?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 2 to 3 p.m. ET

This month marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender discrimination in any federally financed education program or activity. While Title IX is most often associated with school and college athletics, the law also has academic and social implications for schools. Despite the progress that has been made in terms of eliminating gender discrimination at the K-12 level over the past four decades, experts say that more work remains. Three Education Week writers discussed the academic, athletic, and social aspects of Title IX, including what's left to be done.

Guests:
Erik Robelen, assistant editor, Education Week
Nirvi Shah, staff writer, Education Week
Bryan Toporek, contributing writer, Education Week

Bryan Toporek, contributing writer, Education Week, moderated this chat.

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