Re: No Subject (Science classes for girls)

Darcy Lees (
Mon, 8 Jul 1996 15:04:15 -0700 (PDT)

In a 1994 Declaratory Ruling given by the Superior Court of the State of
Washington in and for the County of Yakima related to a request regarding
Take Your Daughter to Work, the ruling read:
"in limited cases school districts may offer single gender educational
opportunities, provided that:

(1) The board of directors has provided adequate notice and opportunity
for public comment under RCW 28A.320.015; and,

(2) The board of directors has established and found that there is a
rational basis for concluding that the effects of past gender
discrimination remain;and,

(3) The school's participation in the proposed single gender
educational activity is intended to eliminate the effects of past
gender discrimination and promote gender equality in the particular
school district; and,

(4) The single gender educational opportunity is the exceptionn rather
than the rule and thus an opportunity or activity which is narrowly
tailored to sweep no more broadly than necessary to counter the
effects of past gender discrimination."

I support your efforts to expand the opportunities for girls and women. I
am also concerned that males understand their expanded work and "home"
roles and that they recognize that women will and do fill broader roles
and careers than historically has been the case. Mutual respect and
support of each others roles, whatever those roles may be, is critical for
gender equity to be realized.

I really feel that the hope for long term success for equity are programs
such as GESA which deals with instructional practices which is aimed at
the way we teach, interact, and support students which has the potential
of helping all students not just those singled out for "remedial
assistance". Single sex or single race activities sometimes seems to carry
the connotation of "blaming the victim" rather than curing the cause.

On Tue, 2 Jul 1996 wrote:

> Shoshanna -
> The American Association of University Women has recently published a review
> of the literature of "what works for girls." This focuses on middle school,
> but should be relevant to you too. This is what the authors say about single
> sex classes in math and science.
> "The evidence on the impact of these same-sex classes is still largely
> anecdotal, but many girls, parents, teachers, and administrators believe they
> are making a positive difference." (Growing Smart: What's for Girls in
> School, Executive Summary p. 10).
> Basically, they say that in the US single sex classes are allowable in public
> schools if they are established in response to sex differences in achievement
> and keep participation voluntary. Often (or sometimes) the schools need to
> show that boys have not been turned away from these classes, that they are
> based on certain learning needs, not just on gender.
> The authors include several references in their full report. This is
> available from the AAUW, 1(800)225-9998, ext. 328 or AAUW Sales Office, Dept.
> 328, PO Box 251, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0251. These references include
> three reports by Patricia Cambell about designing effective programs for
> girls in math and science which are available from the Women's Educational
> Equity Act PUblishing Center.
> I also know that the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is starting up a
> special museum based science program in conjunction with the Girl Scouts to
> support girls' interest and involvement with science.
> Sukey Blanc

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