Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that millions in grants will be awarded to improve girls’ proficiency in math and science yesterday on the 37th anniversary of Title IX. The $2.4 million in grants will be distributed to 13 groups, which each run separate support projects. According to a press release, the four-year grants are funded within the Department of Education by the Women’s Educational Equality Act Program.
Grant recipients were chosen from 63 eligible candidates and favored candidates who have a goal of improving female secondary education graduation rates. The Obama administration has committed to “remove the obstacle of gender discrimination as a way to increase access to college and careers for all students.” As tennis legend Billie Jean King, who attended the announcement, said “we’re looking to have the hearts and minds of the people match up with this legislation.”
Title IX was created under the 1972 Education Amendments and reads “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Although the law’s passage made sex discrimination in education illegal and there have been substantial increases in female participation in sports from 300,000 to approximately three million, Secretary Duncan said “we must continue to push for further progress,” reported USA Today.
The Feminist Majority Foundation sponsored Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education provides research based guidance on how this can be done in mathematics, science, and many other areas.