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Title IX not tyrannical

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, April 6, 2008

Greg Yatarola’s Apr. 2 Viewpoint column denouncing the “tyranny” of Title IX (of the Education Amendments of 1972) distorts the requirements of that law and leaves out a crucial fact that completely undermines his arguments.First, Title IX does not demand proportionality – that the percentage of students that are female and the percentage of athletes that are female be roughly the same. Instead, as per the “three-prong test” instituted in 1979, it requires either proportionality, a “continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex,” or “full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of underrepresented sex.” The U.S. Department of Education explains these three prongs in detail in sections 3-5 at http://tinyurl.com/36wfsb.So if Yatarola’s (risible) claim that “from earliest childhood, boys are far more interested in athletic competition than girls are” was actually true, this lack of interest would be sufficient to justify disproportionality. Second, no school has ever had its federal funding revoked for failing to comply with Title IX because the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights enforces the law slowly, highly selectively and ineffectively. (See the report abstract at http://tinyurl.com/2nehfo.) So despite the extremely flexible requirements of the law, schools are still failing to satisfy it in apparently significant numbers. If Title IX is a tyrant, it is one neither feared nor obeyed.

Dan Hicksgraduate studentoff campusApr. 2