N E W S R E L E A S E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lisa Cain or Leslie Oliver
July 14, 1999 202/785-7729 or 7723, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
GIRLS ACT HELPS CLOSE TECHNOLOGY GAP; PREPARES GIRLS FOR 21ST CENTURY
Washington, DC ñ The American Association of University Women (AAUW)
announced today the introduction of the Educating Americaís Girls Act
(Girls Act). The bill will improve education for girls by reducing gender
bias in technology, high school athletics, and dropout prevention programs,
and train teachers to recognize and reduce incidents of sexual harassment.
The bipartisan bill was introduced by Reps. Dale Kildee (D-MI), Nancy
Johnson (R-CT), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and Connie Morella (R-MD).
As Congress prepares to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education
Act (ESEA), which since 1965 has established the main federal programs
assisting elementary and secondary schools, it is vital to recognize the
advancements that girls have made in education and sports and continue to
improve the opportunities available to girls in the next century. The
Girls Act addresses issues that were raised in the AAUW Educational
Foundationís 1998 report, Gender Gaps: Where Schools Still Fail Our
Children, and other AAUW reports, and seeks to ensure that girlsí
educational needs are met.
ìThis legislation will help bring fairness, equity, and opportunity in
education to thousands of girls nationwide, and will provide a safe
environment for Americaís girls to compete in the ever-changing global
economy of the next century,î said AAUW Government Relations Director Nancy
AAUW was successful in 1994 in addressing gender bias in schools throughout
This law encouraged professional development and recruitment activities to
increase the number of women math and science teachers.
ìIt is important to maintain and strengthen the gender equity provisions
adopted in the 1994 law,î Zirkin said. ìEfforts to achieve high academic
standards in Kñ12 education will fail unless education reform focuses on
the different needs of different students.î
Following are the Girls Act provisions:
Gender Gaps found that girls, when compared to boys, are at a significant
disadvantage as technology is increasingly incorporated into the classroom.
Girls tend to come to the classroom with less exposure to computers and
believe that they are less adept at using technology than boys. While boys
take advanced programming classes, girls take data entry, and only 17
percent of Advanced Placement test takers in computer science are girls.
The Girls Act requires schools to train teachers to address the different
learning needs of girls in technology.
ìGender Gaps found that girls are not learning the technical skills they
need to compete in the 21st century. We need to dismantle the ëvirtual
ceilingí now before it becomes a real-life barrier to girls in the future,î
The Girls Act will help make schools safer by reducing sexual harassment
and abuse. Hostile Hallways, the AAUW Educational Foundationís 1993
report, found that 4 out of 5 students report that they have been the
target of sexual harassment during their school lives. The Girls Act
provides training for teachers and administrators to recognize sexual
harassment and contains provisions to gather data on these often hidden
HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS
Title IX has opened up new opportunities for girls in high school
athletics. A study by the Presidentís Council on Physical Fitness and
Sports recently found that girls playing sports have better physical and
emotional health than those who do not. Unfortunately, nationwide data
measuring the participation of girls in physical education and high school
athletics programs is very limited. The Girls Act requires the National
Center on Education Statistics to collect data on the participation of high
school students in physical education and athletics programs by gender.
Education is the means for all girls, including pregnant and parenting
teens, to achieve economic success. Almost one million teenagers become
pregnant each year, and 80 percent of these pregnancies are unintended.
Pregnancy and parenting are still the most commonly cited reasons why girls
drop out of school. Two-thirds of girls who give birth before age 18 will
not complete high school. Further, the younger the adolescent is when she
becomes pregnant, the more likely it is that she will not complete high
school. The Girls Act strengthens support for programs to keep pregnant
and parenting teens in school through graduation.
WOMENíS EDUCATIONAL EQUITY ACT
AAUW has supported the Womenís Educational Equity Act (WEEA), established
to help achieve educational equity for women and girls, since its inception
in 1974. Since that time, WEEA has helped reduce discrimination and
inequity in school by funding research, development, and dissemination of
curricular materials; training programs; and guidance and testing
activities. The Girls Act reauthorizes the Womenís Educational Equity Act.
The Girls Act is endorsed by the National Coalition for Women and Girls in
Education (NCWGE), a coalition of over 50 organizations dedicated to gender
equity in education. AAUW, with 150,000 members in over 1,500 local
branches nationwide, promotes gender fairness, equity, and diversity
through all levels of education.
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN
1111 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036 202/785-7723 FAX:
202/463-4724 TDD: 202/785-7777
E-MAIL: email@example.com http://www.aauw.org
In a message dated 7/19/99 5:01:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
Does anyone have any additional information about this legislation? Please
let me know asap. Thanks!
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