The Department of Education has withdrawn a proposed revision to state-reporting guidelines that would have reduced state accountability for gender equity in vocational education. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 requires states to collect important data – including information about gender – about programs using federal money to monitor their progress and effectiveness. The proposed revision would have dropped the requirement that states separately report the number of women and men who participate in the vocational programs and the number of women and men who complete the programs. This distinction is important in determining whether these programs promote gender equity.
After releasing the proposed revision in January, the Department of Education received complaints from many groups, including the National Alliance for Partnerships in Education, Women Work, and the National Organization for Women. A letter of opposition was also submitted by members of Congress, including Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA).
“Women who enroll in non-traditional training programs prepare for vocations that typically employ men, such as construction management, law enforcement, and technical occupations. Completion of a career or technical program often allows women to find higher paying jobs. Title IX coordinators and others responsible for ending sex discrimination must continue to closely monitor how women and men perform in these programs,” said Dr. Sue Klein, director of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Education Equity Program.