Re: Legality of single-sex education

Linda Purrington (
Fri, 20 Feb 1998 22:27:24 -0800

Thank you, Jo. Readers may also want to know that the Office for Civil
Rights of the U.S. Department of Education is charged with administering
Title IX, but can and has been challenged on its interpretations of
Title IX in other branchs of the governemnt, such as the legislatures
and the courts.
Does anyone know the final disposition of the Detroit programs that
were started and then, I believe, challenged and closed by court
Linda Purrington, Title IX Advocates <>

Jo Sanders wrote:
> This information comes from Pat Campbell, who has extensively studied the
> legality of single-sex education:
> In response to complaints, the US Office of Civil Rights has ruled that
> programs to assign students to classes on the basis of gender are not
> allowed under Title IX, even if the assignment is voluntary on the part
> of the students. However, they have also ruled that having a coed math
> class and a second class targeted for female students but accessible to
> all students regardless of sex is allowed. (US GAO, 1996).
> The United States General Accounting Office (1996, pp. 6-7) went a step
> further, concluding in a report to the US House of Representatives that
> restricting enrollment in a public school by sex violated Title IX of
> the Education Amendments of 1972, and may also violate the equal
> protection clauses of the United States constitution and different state
> constitutions.
> In a related effort, a recent Supreme Court decision declared that "the
> Constitution^Rs equal protection guarantee precludes Virginia from
> reserving exclusively to men the unique educational opportunities VMI [a
> publicly funded, single-sex male university] affords" (United States Vs
> Virginia et al, Nos. 94-1941 and 94-2107, 1997). This decision was
> directed toward a public college, but may have implications for public
> elementary and secondary schools.
> I hope this clarifies some issues.
> Jo Sanders
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> Jo Sanders
> Director, Center for Gender Equity
> Washington Research Institute
> 150 Nickerson Street, Suite 305
> Seattle, WA 98109
> Phone (206) 285-9317
> Fax (206) 285-1523
> E-mail <>

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