[EDEQUITY Equity Now] Opening Statement by Mary White

From: Mary White (mwhite@azere.org)
Date: Fri May 24 2002 - 16:57:41 EDT

I've greatly enjoyed the discussion so far and I'm excited to participate
in this panel. I currently direct a WEEA project in Phoenix, AZ. We're
working within the largest elementary school district in the state, and our
goal is to encourage confidence and competence in middle school girls'
pursuit of math, science, and engineering careers. We train teachers on
gender equitable classroom practices, sexual harassment and bullying
issues. We share research on the impact of gender and racial inequities in
education, particularly in math and science fields.

In a way, the students I work with are like the "youngest daughter" of
Title IX legislation. The girls are not shy to say they will be astronauts,
veterinarians, pediatric oncologists, and vets at the zoo or at Sea World.
However, similarly to Barbara Bitters concerns, I sense a quiet, persistent
theme in working with these students. There is still a sense of limited
expectations. Gender equity is often marginalized and not well linked to

My current research interest is in school climate, nebulous as it is. I
wondered what other folks are doing things right now to measure/interpret
the classroom or the school climate.

Mary Aleta White, Ph.D.
Director - Project EAGLES
Washington Elementary School District
(602) 347-2545 (voice)
(602) 347-2520 (fax)

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