RE: Opening Statement - Deborah Brake
Wed, 22 Apr 1998 16:50:19 -0700

> -----Deborah Brake-----
> I'm afraid that your summary of the status of girls and women in
> education misses the forest for the trees. While women have achieved
> access to higher education and are graduating from college in record
> numbers, there are still very significant barriers. For example:
> -women remain underrepresented in traditionally male
> fields, especially
> in such areas as math and sciences, engineering and computers;

Women's representation in traditionally male fields is improving. Men's
representation in traditionally male fields is falling. There are now even
fewer male elementary school teachers than ever. With men the
underrepresented sex in college, overall, it appears that you are the one
missing the forest for the trees. You concentrate on only those fields in
which men dominate when women dominate overall.

> also,
> women's representation declines as you go up the educational
> ladder --
> for example, women get only 39% of all doctorate degrees;

You've picked only the data which agrees with your forgone conclusion.
Women's representation is greater than men's at the bachelors level and it
increases further at the Masters level. You are correct about the
relatively rare degree of PhD, but your statement that "women's
representation declines as you go up the educational ladder" is not
supported by the numbers of masters degrees.

> -women and girls experience sexual harassment more
> frequently than men
> and boys, and with greater detriment; such harassment is often severe
> enough to drive women out of particular education programs or out of
> school entirely;

You focus on one type of violence which women experience more often.
Overall, most victims of violence are male. Again you miss the forest for
the trees. Men are subject to violence in our schools.

> -women have not achieved equality in employment in
> education: although
> women are 73% of high school teachers, they are only 35% of
> principals;

women are slightly more than 50% of high school teachers.

> -studies continue to show gender bias in learning
> environments, with
> less attention, praise and encouragement given to female students;

According to the NCES, girls more often than boys report that their peers,
counselors, teachers and relatives encourage them to take high school math
and science.

> -we don't have enough room to discuss the well-documented
> discrimination against girls and women in school and college athletic
> prgorams.

Women recieve a disproportionate amount of the nations financial aide. The
athletic scholarship is the exception where men, and particularly minority
men, recieve more money than women. Again you are missing the forest for
the trees, when most aide is going to women.

Robert Weverka

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