News Updates

September 18, 1991 1 min read

Twenty-nine girls have applied for places at Detroit’s three special African-centered academies, which were originally designed for boys only.

Most of the girls entered the special schools on Sept. 9.

The Detroit Board of Education last month opened up 136 places for girls in the special schools following a federal judge’s ruling that the district’s original plan violated the U.S. Constitution and federal and state law by denying equal educational opportunities to female pupils. (See Education Week, Sept. 4, 19913

The academies opened Aug. 28 with about 560 boys and 3 girls. The board plans to press its case for the all-male school concept, designed primarily to address the problems facing young, African-American boys in inner-city Detroit.

School-district officials have extended to Sept. 27 the deadline for girls to apply to the three academies. But officials said they will accept applications until all 136 slots for girls are filled.

Some community leaders in Detroit who strongly support the all-male concept have urged parents not to enroll their daughters in the academies. The district is planning to open a similar academy for girls by next year.

The New York City Board of Education has rejected a proposal that would have allowed parents to exclude their children from the district’s controversial condom-distribution program.

By rejecting the proposal by a vote of 4 to 3 last week, the board left intact the most liberal program of its kind in the country. The vote was an unexpected victory for Schools Chancellor Joseph A. Fernandez, who initially proposed the program and who had argued against any “opt out” provision. (See Education Week, July 31, 1991 .)

Under the program, which will begin in 16 schools later tiffs fall and will eventually expand to all of the district’s 120 high schools, students will be able to obtain condoms on a confidential basis from male and female staff volunteers according to a set schedule.

Students are not required to be counseled or instructed about the use of condoms when they are distributed, although such information will be available upon request.

A version of this article appeared in the September 18, 1991 edition of Education Week as News Updates