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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post


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PostWatch
 

Thursday, February 27, 2003
 
1:40 PM

Title IX: This Sounds Bad... From the Washington Times, an AP dispatch, Paige rejects major Title IX changes in school sports
Education Secretary Rod Paige said last night that he would not consider any major changes in Title IX, the federal education law that requires equal sports opportunities for men and women. Mr. Paige said he would only consider recommendations that drew unanimous support from his Commission on Opportunity in Athletics.

Considering the relatively mild changes even the non-unanimous changes involved, this could be a major, missed opportunity.
Among the ideas to be scrapped by Mr. Paige's move:
*Allowing schools to measure sports participation in new ways, such as excluding non-scholarship athletes from counts or including available roster slots even if they're not used.
*Giving schools more leeway to accept private sports money, which proponents said could keep teams afloat, but feminist critics said would amount to slush funds for better-supported men's sports.
*Letting schools exclude older, "nontraditional" students from their counts based on a view that they are less likely to participate in sports. Some commissioners disputed this.

It looks like this will allow some ludicrous traditions to continue. For example, item number one means that non-scholarship walk-ons will continue to be thrown away; such walk-ons are more common in men's sports and demonstrate men's higher interest in participating. Item one also means that schools will continue to be punished even if it l offers more slots to women than they choose to fill, which demonstrates women's lower interest in participating. That's right, folks; it's not enough to offer opportunities; the schools virtually have to force women to play.

However, it's hard to tell what's really going on. From the same story:
In a Title IX debate often marked by confusion, Mr. Paige's comments created more as observers tried to assess exactly what he meant...One of the remaining suggestions, for example, says the Education Department should explore ways for schools to prove they don't discriminate. "That last one is so wide open, it gives them license to do anything. It basically brings all the other ones back into play," said Julie Foudy, one of two commission members to balk at the group's report. She had voted for the recommendation but withdrew her support after seeing how it appeared in the final report...



However, it does appear that Paige took a lowest-common denominator approach that gave veto power to the more extreme quota-driven outcomes.

The Washington Post filed its own story on the commission submitting its recommendations, but before Paige responded to them.

Meanwhile, I have no idea what this annoucement by the good guys at the College Sports Council is about:
Pursuant to the Department of Education's Information Quality Guidelines, the College Sports Council and the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) request that the Department not disseminate the report completed today by the Secretary's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics without first acknowledging and correcting its many statistical errors. We file this request based on a draft report, entitled "Open to All: Title IX at Thirty," released by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

It's in their "Newsroom" section. I don't yet see a reaction to Paige's pronouncement.




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