site is no longer active.
Card - Action Agenda
Introduction | Progress
Reports | Action Agenda | Executive
Summary (AAUW web site)
can we as a nation achieve gender equity? The following Action
Agenda provides recommendations designed to create a blueprint
for change and move us closer to achieving Title IX's goal of eliminating
sex discrimination in education.
This list of recommendations for Congress, administrative agencies,
and educational institutions is not exhaustive; people working on
these issues undoubtedly will develop additional strategies. However,
the Action Agenda, in tandem with efforts by students, parents,
and educators in communities throughout the country, can help ensure
that gender is not a barrier to educational opportunity.
Can Policymakers Do?
President Clinton and congressional leaders, both Democrats and Republicans,
have identified education as a top priority. Ensuring that educational
opportunities are available to all students irrespective
of gender is critical to providing the students with the
training necessary to make the nation competitive in an increasingly
global economy. To that end, Congress should take the following steps:
the welfare law to allow women on public assistance to pursue
postsecondary education and to allow college study and
work study to count toward a welfare recipient's work requirement.
funding to the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowships to
encourage women and students of color to pursue master's, professional,
and doctoral programs in areas where they are underrepresented.
the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act to require colleges
and universities to provide information on gender equity in their
athletic programs to one central government office. In addition,
Congress should enact a similar sunshine law to require high schools
to disclose publicly information regarding athletic equity.
funding for Title IV state educational agencies, which
have provided schools with important assistance in their efforts
to provide a nondiscriminatory learning environment.
funding levels for sex equity programs and services in
reauthorizing vocational education legislation, including supportive
services and professional development for nontraditional
a uniform data collection system for evaluating state efforts
at achieving equity in vocational education and accountability
standards that measure progress in sex equity in this area.
an incentive program rewarding states for successful equity activities,
particularly states that annually increase the number of students
trained and placed in nontraditional careers.
and target funding for the Eisenhower Professional Development
Program so teachers can learn techniques to close the
gender gap in math and science.
Can the President and Administrative Agencies Do?
Every administrative agency that provides funding for educational
programs or activities has the authority and the responsibility for
enforcing Title IX. However, after 25 years, only four such agencies
have adopted regulations to enforce the law. Although the Department
of Education's Office for Civil Rights is the lead agency for Title
IX enforcement, other agencies can and should take proactive measures
to make Title IX's mandate a reality. The following steps are critical:
the Title IX regulation promulgated by the Department of Education,
including all policy guidances that implement Title IX's mandate,
particularly the recently released policy on sexual harassment.
a comprehensive enforcement plan regarding Title IX that
includes conducting compliance reviews in key areas where barriers
persist, such as employment, women's participation in math and
science, sexual harassment, athletics programming, and access
to nontraditional employment. Such a plan also should include
coordinating with the Department of Justice to refer cases of
a comprehensive strategy for heightening awareness regarding Title
IX's requirements concerning sexual harassment, which
includes informing school superintendents and presidents of colleges
and universities about the new sexual harassment policy guidance,
working with communitybased and advocacy organizations,
and conducting public education.
that new national testing initiatives result in fair
testing instruments that measure students' performance and achievements
in a nonbiased manner. This recommendation applies to the
Department of Education, which is taking the lead on this policy
a proactive leadership strategy to insure that SchooltoWork
is implemented in a gender equitable manner. The federal
SchooltoWork Office and the Departments of Labor and
Education should develop strategies to ensure that recipients
of SchooltoWork funds are building gender equitable
systems, starting with site visits to assess state efforts at
serving girls and young women as well as other underserved populations.
Title IX to cover federally conducted education programs or activities
such as the Department of Defense school system, which encompasses
a great many institutions, and fellowships administered by the
National Science Foundation. At present, many of these programs
are not covered by Title IX.
Can Educational Institutions Do?
with Title IX's requirements. This includes the following:
As stated previously,
this list is not exhaustive; there are many more strategies that will
help move the nation toward gender equity. In addition, students,
parents, and educators have an important role to play in ensuring
that educational institutions live up to their obligations under the
law. These communities should determine the steps they will take to
help the nation make the grade for gender equity in education in the
next 25 years and beyond.
at least one person as Title IX coordinator to organize
efforts to comply with Title IX and to investigate any Title IX
complaints. Ensure that this person carries out the duties of
educating faculty, students, and staff concerning their rights,
their responsibilities, and the requirements of Title IX. The
Title IX coordinator or some other person also could be charged
with developing and implementing programs that promote educational
equity. Institutions also should provide adequate staff and financial
resources to carry out these important tasks. In many colleges
and universities, the Title IX/equity coordinator could work closely
with a committee, task force, or commission on the status of women.
all students and employees of the person(s) responsible for Title
IX compliance. Include the name(s), office address(es),
and telephone number(s).
and publish Title IX grievance procedures for both student and
employee complaints, including complaints of sexual harassment.
specific and continuing strategies to ensure that everyone in
the institution knows about your policy of nondiscrimination.
Groups to notify about the policy include admission and recruitment
personnel and representatives (both students and employees), applicants
for admission and employment, students, employees, sources of
referral of applicants for admission and employment, and unions
or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or
professional agreements with the institution. Your policy should
also inform people that inquiries about Title IX can be referred
to the designated Title IX person or the Assistant Secretary for
Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 202012516.
that the notice of nondiscrimination is prominently placed
in each announcement, bulletin, catalogue or application form
used in connection with students or employees as well
as in recruiting students and employees. (Colleges recruiting
athletes should be sure that this notification appears in materials
sent to prospective athletes.)
that all programs facilitated by the institution do not discriminate
on the basis of sex. For example, the institution must
develop and implement a procedure to assure that programs it does
not operate but requires or otherwise considers a part of its
programming, such as coop placements sponsored by professional
organizations or internships, are nondiscriminatory. Institutions
also should take reasonable steps to ensure that housing opportunities
it does not provide directlybut which it solicits,
lists, approves, or helps make available are provided in
a nondiscriminatory manner. This means that housing
must be proportionate in quantity and comparable in quality and
cost for students of both genders.
than any agency, organization, or person who receives assistance
from the institution for the purpose of making employment available
to students does so without discriminating on the basis of sex.
and use internal procedures for ensuring that student counseling
and appraisal materials do not discriminate on the basis of sex.
action to ensure that classes that are disproportionately represented
by one gender are not the result of sex discrimination
in counseling or appraisal materials, in the use of these materials,
or by academic or guidance counselors.
and implement procedures to ensure overall nondiscrimination
in disbursement of financial aid, if the institution
provides any singlesex financial assistance established
by wills, bequests, or similar legal instruments. If financial
aid is given to athletes, provide 'reasonable opportunities' for
athletic scholarships and grantsinaid for each sex
in proportion to the number of each sex participating in intercollegiate
that any separate class, activity or program offered to pregnant
students is comparable to those offered to nonpregnant students.
- 34 C.F.R.
Sec. 106.1 et seq.
- Julie K.
Ehrhart and Bernice R. Sandler, National Association for Women
in Education, Washington, DC. Examines gang rapes and contains
more than 100 recommendations for preventing and dealing with
sexual assault (including but not limited to gang rape). Although
aimed at colleges, many of the recommendations will also be appropriate
for high school programs and policies.
- Martha J.
Langelan, Back Off! How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment
and Harassers (Simon and Schuster, 1993). Describes many strategies
for women and girls on dealing with sexual harassment when it
occurs, whether in the playground, at work, or on the street.
Very useful for students at all levels and those working with
- Office for
Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Sexual Harassment
Guidance: Harassment of Students by School Employees, Other Students,
or Third Parties, Federal Register, March 13, 1997, Vol. 62,
Number 49. Copies can be obtained by calling or writing the U.S.
Department of Education or your Senator or Representative in Congress.