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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Thursday, December 05, 2002
10:42 PM

Title IX Update... I mentioned earlier today that Discriminations tracked a story in the Chronicle of Higher Education about a recent Title IX commission meeting in Philly, and how it sounded as if the quota machine might be taking a hit. Well a helpful reader points me to the following in USA Today

By Erik Brady, USA TODAY

PHILADELPHIA — The commission looking into Title IX served notice Wednesday that it plans to ask for major changes in how the federal law is regulated, including a recalculation of the controversial "proportionality" litmus test.

That test means if say 55% of your students are women, about 55% of your varsity sports slots must be held by women. This is a problem since women are not as interested in sports as much as men, and it's the reason hundreds of men's programs have been cut, even to the point of rejecting bench-warmers, while athletic directors and coaches hunt desperately for enough women to fill a rowing shell. The proportionality test is supposed to be but one part of a "three-pronged" test, but in practice there's just one prong: proprotionality, aka gender quotas. Use my new search engine far below and search under "Jessica Gavora" and "Title IX;" I couldn't shut up about this in the summer.


Commission co-chair Ted Leland proposed colleges be allowed to count "opportunities." In his example, men's and women's soccer would have 30 opportunities. If walk-ons swelled the men's roster to 40 and only 20 women came out, a school could count that as 30 men and 30 women.

Some other proportionality proposals have a close-is-good-enough tone that tone that could ultimately make it easier for schools to comply with the law.

There are bunch of other interesting ideas; read the article. But here's how you know it's progress:

Changes in Title IX being discussed by an Education Department commission "confirm our worst fears" and are "at odds with everything that Title IX stands for," said a leading supporter of the law.

"I found the tenor of the meeting and the suggestions being made simply appalling," said Jocelyn Samuels, vice president of the National Women's Law Center after attending a meeting of the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics on Wednesday.

Splendid. The changes being discussed sound as if they would significantly ratchet back social engineering. Students will be allowed to pursue the activities they choose, and schools--and young men--won't be punished for it.

Well....won't be punished as much:

Mike Moyers, executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, was also unhappy with the proposed recommendations.

"We had hoped that proportionality would be eliminated completely," he said. "To that extent, we are disappointed. But we also feel that giving colleges more flexibility is a step in the right direction."

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