[EDEQUITY Equity Now] Responding to issues of Title IX and Single

From: Leslie Annexstein (lannexstein@nwlc.org)
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 10:21:06 EDT

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Hello everyone - I am sorry that I have not been able to get involved in
dialogue earlier on. I would like to respond to a couple of issues that
have been raised:

1) The point was made that although in my opening statement I mentioned
Title IX covers all aspects of education, Title IX does not apply to the
curriculum. The Title IX regulations state: "Nothing in this regulation
shall be interpreted as requiring or prohibiting or abridging in any way
use of particular textbooks or curricular materials." However, Title IX
has helped to pave the way for research regarding the content of what
students actually learn in school and has helped focus attention on
curricular issues generally. For example, there was testimony during Title
IX's Congressional hearings about male-dominated readers used in schools
testimony about teachers making assignments to students based on gender
stereotypes. Next month, the National Coalition for Women and Girls in
Education will release its Title IX at 30 report card and it will include a
progress report on the "Learning Environment" -- I hope that all
will review this report.

2) There has been some discussion of the single-sex education issue and the
recent Administration announcement to open up the Title IX regulations.
Here is an overview of what is going on: A provision was included in the
Child Left Behind Act that states that local education agencies may use
funds that are set aside for innovative programs to establish single-sex
schools and classes, consistent with applicable law. The No Child Left
Behind Act also directed the Department of Education to issue guidelines
within 120 days on the applicable law. On May 8, the Department of
Education put two notices in the Federal Register. One notice met the
requirement that "guidelines" be issued and restated the current Title IX
regulations. The second notice issued was a "Notice of Intent to Regulate"
which states that the Department of Education intends to open up the Title
IX regulations in order to provide greater "flexibility" to local education
agencies to provide single-sex education opportunities. This notice asked
for comments from the public to be submitted by July 8, 2002. Although the
notice poses some questions that the Department is particularly interested
in considering, the notice did not provide the test of what the new
regulations mights be. Of great concern, however, is the very fact that
Department of Education wants to open up long-standing civil rights
regulations that already permit single-sex education in limited,
circumstances. The following links are the statement of the National
Women's Law Center in response to the Administration's announcement that it
intends to amend the Title IX regulations and our one-pager on what is
currently permitted under Title IX and the U.S. Constitution:
http://www.nwlc.org/details.cfm?id=1102§ion=newsroom and

3) There was some discussion last week about Title IX being a "funding"
statute. While it is certainly true that Title IX attaches only to those
education programs or activities that receive federal funding (which, by
way is all public schools and most private schools), Title IX was enacted
pursuant to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (as
as the Spending Clause). Indeed, in enacting Title IX, Congress saw Title
IX as a means of enforcing the core principles of equality embodied in the
Equal Protection Clause. Thus, the Equal Protection Clause ia an equally
important source of constitutional authority for Title IX and we should not
give it the short end of the stick.

I hope that you find this information helpful.

Leslie T. Annexstein
Senior Counsel
National Women's Law Center
11 Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
tel: 202-588-5180
fax: 202-588-5185
email: lannexstein@nwlc.org

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