Today United States Vice President Joe Biden announced that the White House was withdrawing a Bush Administration interpretation of Title IX policy. The policy in question allowed for a loophole that allowed for a less than strict compliance with the rules of Title IX.
From Jill Dougherty, CNN:
Universities initially faced three requirements to prove they were complying with the law: that the number of male and female students participating in sports at a university was proportional to the number of male and female students enrolled there; that the university was expanding opportunities for women students in athletics; and that the university was meeting the athletic abilities and interests of women students.
In 2005, the Bush administration changed the third requirement, allowing universities to prove they were meeting the athletic interests of women by carrying out surveys of students' interest in sports.
What had been occurring over the last five years was that a University could send out a survey gauging the interest of their female students which was not always an accurate representation of the interest as much as a representation of the availability of a college program fitting their needs or being worth their while.
Low response rates could also effect the preciseness of the surveys.
The White House makes it a little bit more clear on their website.
Enacted in 1972, Title IX mandates that any educational institution receiving federal funding for programs and activities cannot discriminate on the basis of sex. The 2005 policy issued compliance standards that were widely criticized for being inadequate and inconsistent with Title IX's nondiscrimination goals. Today’s announcement reverses this interpretation, and returns to a more thorough test for assessing compliance with Title IX...
“Making Title IX as strong as possible is a no-brainer,” said Vice President Biden. “What we’re doing here today will better ensure equal opportunity in athletics, and allow women to realize their potential - so this nation can realize its potential.”
“There is no doubt that Title IX has dramatically increased athletic, academic, and employment opportunities for women and girls, and educational institutions have made big strides in providing equal opportunities in sports,” said Secretary Duncan. “Yet discrimination continues to exist in college athletic programs--and we should be vigilant in enforcing the law and protecting this important civil right.”
I know that Title IX has controversial implications, but overall this legislation has drastically improved funding of women's sports in the NCAA and I agree with the Obama Administration and Vice President Biden here. If we are going to do this, let's do it right.
More about Title IX and today's announcement.
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