RE: Your dream research on educational equity...

Brown & Dempsey (
Tue, 7 Jul 1998 00:12:22 -0700


What fun, a Tabula Rasa. First of all I am generally active in one very =
tiny corner of the Title IX universe. Most of my campaigns so far have =
been in the athletic corner so I shall restrict my dream questions to my =
corner. If I could ask:

How is the present performance toward gender equity measured?
Some of the time I have found that the girls' teams listed in the =
"official" reports don't even exist and the numbers of competitors = listed
on those teams is just as phony. These folks are not falsifying = public
records because there are no "public" records kept by or demanded = of the
officials involved.

Does the state have a consistent and verifiable system of reporting? In =
this state districts were reporting numbers that some official "hoped" =
would be available for competition during the next school year. That was =
passed off as the actual participation rate-by-gender for several years. =
We have one worker in the state education office who can spend a very =
tiny "part time" working toward equity in athletics in the nearly 300 =
districts in the state. Some of the very largest school districts in =
our state don't even have the student interest survey as required since =
1975 in any form and they are aghast when asked for a copy under the =
open public records law. These same districts frequently have =
compliance numbers in the 65/35 category when the target remains 50/50 =
and this is 25 years after this equality was allegedly passed into law.

Who does What at each level and what is their authority AND =
responsibility? Take names and phone numbers.) We have situations in =
which school districts use one state law to hand athletic responsibility =
to any not-for-profit and then disavow any responsibility for equity =
compliance because they have handed supervision to some other =
organization. The not-for-profit organizations ask us to believe they =
are not obligated to Title IX requirements because they aren't state =
agencies even though they receive tax money in the form of dues to =
support several full paid employees and do it under a state law. If =
anyone relies on OCR or an "outside" agency, turf wars will erupt = between
OCR, state human rights commission, superintendent of = instruction, the
not-for-profits and many others who have vested = interests. One district
changed Title IX Compliance Officers each year = after one of the
appointees decided something should be done and started = trying to address
the issues. No one seems to have the faintest control = except the
attorneys paid to send the letters crying, "Foul!" if anyone = asks about
budget, participation, equipment and supplies or facilities.

How does a private citizen file a complaint and exactly what steps are =
involved (and documented) in what timelines during the response? A =
Standard Scenario: the letter is written and stonewalled until a =
complaint is filed then the district holds a series of time-consuming =
and energy-draining pro forma hearings and someone finally issues a =
decree that, "There ain't nuttin wrong here." Then the next complaint =
level and the next level and the next level.....

Please keep us posted as you put on your researcher hat and romp through =
the equity fields. The experiences of this researcher in this field =
have begun to create some discomfort, achieve some progress and build =
some lengthy files. You are welcome to anything in those files.

Herb Dempsey
Who may not be as jaded as this sounds. He hopes!

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Alexa Marie Adamo
Sent: Monday, June 29, 1998 10:13 AM
Subject: Your dream research on educational equity...=20

Dear Equity Experts,

If you could have a graduate student do research on educational equity =
you, for free, what research questions would you want answered? If this=20
graduate student could interview students that had been in a school with =

an equity program, and students who had not, what would you hope to see? =

What research do you think needs to be done to influence schools who =
not yet been open to the idea of "educational equity" for all students?

Please respond to
(a graduate student developing her thesis research proposal on =

Alexa Adamo

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