Equity & Diversity Opinion

Title IX Changes

By Richard Whitmire — April 20, 2010 1 min read
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Applause all around for the administration for its decision to return to truer accounting on Title IX. It’s an opportunity to quit pretending what this issue is all about.

Many of these universities are in trouble with athletics not because they offer unequal athletic programs but because their offerings don’t match the gender balance -- or imbalance -- that exists on the campus. If a college is 60 percent female, then 60 percent of the athletic offerings should be geared toward women.

At some point, and it appears that point has not yet arrived, someone in the administration will need to ask: why are so many campuses 60 percent female? Ah, that’s a question that may be postponed indefinitely. Given that eight million more women than men voted for Obama, making decisions such as today’s Title IX announcement will come a lot easier than probing that tougher question.

My favorite part of the reaction to the announcement, from the Feminist Majority:

Feminist Majority Cheers Rescission of Bush Title IX Sports Policy, Seeks Repeal of Bush Title IX Single-Sex Policy The Obama administration today will rescind a 2005 Bush-era policy that permitted colleges to use an emailed interest survey as the sole means to comply with the Title IX requirement that women and girls be fairly included in sports opportunities. "Good riddance to another Bush policy to turn back Title IX - this one designed to limit women's college athletic options. Can you imagine a college canceling a men's sport because male students didn't reply to an email survey? That's what they tried to do with women's teams," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "Rescission of this Bush assault on Title IX is a good start, and the next focus should be on other Bush efforts to limit Title IX - especially changes in the Title IX regulations on single-sex schools and classes, which some schools are interpreting to permit sex discrimination and unequal opportunities for girls in K-12." said Kim Gandy, vice president and general counsel of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

That’s their goal -- do away with single-sex education. I have my issues with single-sex education. I don’t think it is backed by sufficient research. Still, I can’t help but laugh when I try to imagine Arne Duncan making the announcement that schools such as Chicago’s Urban Prep will be shutting down (in a city where 5 percent of the black males make it through high school and college, this school is placing 100 percent of its graduates in college) because eight million more women than men voted for Obama.

I’ll be there for that press conference.

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