Re: International Initiatives

Robert Weverka (
Tue, 03 Mar 1998 13:58:46 -0700

Susan J. Smith wrote:
> An examination is underway to figure out what is happening
> to which girls and which boys. For example, there is a concern that reform
> efforts undertaken in the 1980s and early 1990s that took a color-blind
> and used the principles and discipline of the market-place as a means of
> standards for every child have, in fact, increased black-white inequality in
> English educational system. [See "Young black and failed by school: the
> market, education reform and black students," David Gillborn, International
> Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 1, No. 1, January-March 1997, pp. 65-87.]

These break downs by race and income are important.
Have a look at
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The
Condition of Education 1997 Supplemental and Standard Error Tables, NCES
97-988. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997.

I call your attention to this table from that source

Table 9-4 Percentage of students who attended a post secondary institution
within 2 years following scheduled high school graduation, by selected student
characteristics: 1974, 1982, and 1994

Selected student Senior in 1980 Senior in 1992
characteristics Total Male Female Total Male Female
Total 65.5 64.0 66.9 72.3 68.8 75.9

Socioeconomic status
Low quartile 45.5 44.2 47.3 48.9 43.7 53.5
Middle quartiles 63.7 61.2 67.2 70.7 65.5 76.1
High quartile 88.1 86.0 91.7 91.3 90.0 92.7

Achievement test quartile in high school
First (low) 36.2 32.3 39.9 46.8 44.4 49.7
Second 53.8 50.0 57.6 65.6 61.2 70.1
Third 72.0 68.8 74.9 79.6 75.6 83.3
Fourth (high) 89.2 88.4 90.4 92.6 90.6 94.7

White 65.9 64.6 67.9 74.0 70.6 77.4
Black 59.5 59.5 62.5 64.7 57.5 71.6
Hispanic 56.9 57.4 58.4 65.0 62.4 67.6
Islander 89.6 89.0 90.9 84.9 84.3 85.6
Native American/
Other 53.4 51.6 54.0 57.4 49.9 62.7

It appears that we have parity by sex in the highest income bracket, and in
the Asian/Pacific Islander race. Everywhere else women are going to college
at rates higher than men.

> I have some suggestions for you about where to find U.S. statistics about
> equity in education. Please look at the "Report Card on Gender Equity"
> by the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education as part of the 25th
> anniversary celebration of Title IX, as well as "Title IX: 25 Years of
> Progress, A Report of the U.S. Department of Eduation."

Thanks I've seen that. It is available on the web.
I thought it was biased.
For example
recommends that
1 The U.S. Department of Education should submit an annual report
to Congress detailing disbursement of financial aid, loans and
grants, and awards in higher education desegregated by race and

I suspect financial aid goes disproportionately to women and minorities simply
because women and minorities in lower income brackets go to college at much
higher rates. This recommendation presupposes the opposite is true.

2. The Department of Education and other federal agencies funding
higher education programs should target Title IX enforcement to
address discriminatory practices that discourage women from
pursuing math and science majors.

I agree, but I would place equal or greater importance on the larger
disparities. Since American Women get Bachelors degrees at rates 25% higher
than American Men, and Masters degrees at rates 40% higher, there are more
specialties which leave out men and these must be included any programs to
address discriminatory practices.

3. Educational institutions should provide opportunities to
encourage women to enter math and science fields of study and
develop programs designed to increase women's retention in these

Ditto the field of education for men.

4. Congress should amend the welfare law to allow women on welfare
the opportunity to pursue post secondary education and to allow
college study and work study to count toward a welfare recipient's
work requirement.

And while there at it, we might let men in on welfare and this educational

5. The Department of Education should clarify legally acceptable
forms of affirmative action in education for women and people of
color and encourage their use.

And in the process would we find out if schools could provide AA to the
underrepresented sex in our nations tertiary education system.

6. Congress should restore funding to the Patricia Roberts Harris
Fellowships to encourage women and students of color to enter
master's, professional, and doctoral programs where they are

There are more Master's programs where men are underrepresented than there are
with women underrepresented. How about equal access for both sexes, not just
cafeteria equality giving women a leg up in those fewer fields in which they
are underrepresented. This is a recipe for total dominance.

> The Report Card gives the U.S. an overall grade of C in its progress so far in
> achieving equity in nine key areas of education: access to higher education,

The Report Card gave a B- for access. I wonder what it means when women
dominate enrollment overall and the report focuses on more women in those
field they've yet to dominate. How about equity for both sexes?

> I think your question about boys and boys' programs raises an important issue.
> For some who over-estimate the progress of women and girls in the U.S. (and
> elsewhere), there seems to be this underlying notion that gender equity
> advocates are the enemy and not gender role stereotyping and gender bias.

That is unfortunate. There are some who do believe equity is a two way

> That
> helping girls, must, by necessity, harm boys. If our goal is to create a
> gender-fair, multicultural education system that promotes the full development
> of ALL students, we can't pit males and females against each other. Gender
> equity, by definition, must encourage increased options for both genders.
And I
> believe gender equity advocates already have been working to achieve that. As
> Susan McGee Bailey, of the Wellesley Centers for Research on Women wrote: "The
> notion that helping girls means hurting boys amounts to a defense of the
> quo and the acceptance of a set of stereotypes that are serving few of our
> students well. It is as important for boys to learn about the contributions
> women to our nation and the world as it is for girls to study this
> Adolescent pregnancy and parenting are issues for young men as well as young
> women. Boys as well as girls benefit from instructional techniques that
> encourage cooperation in learning. [See Research Report, Fall 1997, Volume 2,
> Number 1, p.2.] What more can we add to this list?
> I think some people genuinely do not understand that gender equity is meant
> expand the possibiliites for both males and females and we need to do a better
> job of educating them. However, I think we also have to be vigilant about
> who would use "harming males" as a smokescreen. In the last couple of
weeks, I
> have been looking for information about gender equity and males, primarily on
> the Internet (and in a few books and articles). I have found some
things that
> talk about the culture of violence and how restrictive gender roles create/
> contribute to this culture--although not much of this was related to education
> in school. Frankly, most of what I've found is the worst backlash hogwash
> imaginable. It's not about equity but about putting women back in their
> "place."

I have not seen this. Equity for boys should not be about putting down women.
Equity for boys should mean an equal chance to go to college and an equal
chance in fields in which they are currently and traditionally underrepresented.

> If anyone has found better info, please let me know. I just found out
> that the National Coalition for Sex Equity in Education (NCSEE) has a Male
> Issues Task Force that has been looking at how gender equity helps males. I
> looking forward to learning more from them about that effort.

This sounds promising. Unfortunately, I have seen little which targeted at
helping boys academically. Most the work on changing the system for boys is
targeted at changing violent boys. If this improves boys academics too that
would help, but I believe that boys need direct help to achieve academic equity.

The 500 page citation I gave above,, has
table after table of educational statistical measures. Anyone looking for raw
data broken down by sex need only search it for the word 'male' or 'female'.
While there are exceptions in the post educational income tables, the
statistics measuring school performance go overwhelmingly in favor of girls.
Currently, the U.S. enrolls more girls in preschools, puts more elementary
school boys on behavior modifying drugs, has more boys in remedial education
and puts more girls into post secondary education. Any serious effort at
gender equity needs address this as well as issues which hurt women.

Robert Weverka

new message to this message