Final Statement for Women in Science Discussion-Gay Gordon

Date: Mon Dec 06 1999 - 16:27:50 EST

Final Statement - Women in Science Discussion

There has been some interesting and stimulating discussion this week about the
issues surrounding women in science. I have enjoyed participating and reading
both the concerns and the project descriptions that give us all hope for women's
progress in the field of science.

Many of the messages have pointed out the need for continued funding for the
innovative education, enrichment, and intervention programs described by several
discussion participants. So often, funding is limited to two, three, four years
- just long enough for there to be some success, but not long enough to see
concrete, long-term results. I doubt that any level of government is the best
source of stable funding for such programs. I would suggest, as I did in my
opening statement, that because gender equity (and, indeed, equity overall) is
an important part of standards-based reform in schools, schools must provide
ongoing support for these programs. As we improve teaching and learning in math
and science for everyone through a standards-based approach, we improve teaching
and learning for girls. This should be every educator's and every parent's goal
for all children.

I am, of course, opening a whole other discussion here. I realize that equitable
school funding is another issue, that school reform is not something that
everyone believes is either necessary or good, and that these goals are not easy
to reach. Still, I think the link must be made between innovative science
programs for girls and overall reform in these areas and that schools involved
in reform efforts are the best place to look for long-term support for such
programs. Why shouldn't a mothers and daughters science club be a regular school
program, like other enrichment programs? Or why not an after-school program like

As people continue to read this discussion on the web site, I would welcome
direct messages about innovative programs so that we can post a list to our
equity web site. Please send them to me at

Thanks to all of you who made this rich discussion possible.

Gay Gordon
Associate Director, Publishing
Eisenhower National Clearinghouse

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