[EDEQUITY Equity Now]Providing girls with alternative paths

From: Raquel Bauman (raquelbauman@lhs.lowell.k12.ma.us)
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 10:32:46 EDT

I will be requesting the Purple book from Wisconsin to share with staff
here in Lowell,MA . Thanks for the suggestion.

In Houston, I worked for an alternative school that housed several city
wide programs including one for gifted students many of whom came from
cultures very different from our own. Sometimes daughters of very strict
parents with beliefs very different from my own wanted to play on one of
our teams. Some would hide the fact of their participation from their
father or their brothers. To help them out the male assistant principal
and I created an unusual strategy. We prepared a set of questions and
decided who would ask what before we arranged a meeting with parents,
usually the father.

We always focused on achievement, on the academic benefits of
participation. We were successful in getting fathers to grant permission
in all but one case. We were careful to have Mr. M make the recommendation.

I must add that as a Chicana from a very traditional family in Texas, I
have had to learn that my set of beliefs is not necessarily better. I
learned from a very traditional mother not from any American feminist
teacher or professor that the first published feminist author on this
hemisphere was a Mexican nun. My mom's beliefs and experiences are not
better than mine. If we concentrate on providing our students with
information, with options and we do so with no put downs, they will select
those values that will make them happy and successful by their own
standards rather than by ours. They might select the different practices
for their daughters rather than themselves but select them they will.

"Raquel Bauman "

-----Original Message-----
From: Emile Rosenberg [mailto:RosenbergE@k12.Waltham.ma.us]
Subject: [EDEQUITY Equity Now]Gender equity and the cultural difference

I reviewed some recent data with our Foreign Language/Bilingual Director
which indicated that approximately 5% of the people in the world speak
English. Our enrollments in public schools in this area reflect a broad
array of immigrants with cultures and languages quite different from our
own. Sometimes, inequity of men and women is a reality in the countries
from which our students enter. It may also reflect the daily reality in
their homes where men and women have strict, stereotypical roles. This is
an issue as students attend our schools where Title IX type equity may be
quite new to them. It would be interesting to hear how you are all dealing
with the phenomenon of culture differences.

Emile Rosenberg
Assistant Superintendent of Waltham Public Schools

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