Report Released on Single-Sex Education

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) announced the release of a multi-year study (2007-10) of single-sex education in U.S. K-12 public schools today. This study reveals that after the Bush Department of Education weakened previous Title IX restrictions on sex segregated education in K-12 public schools in 2006, over 1,000 public schools sex segregated at least some of their classes. This FMF report and a chapter on “Single-Sex Education: Fertile Ground for Discrimination” in Title IX at 40: Working to Ensure Gender Equity in Education by the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE) document why sex segregation generally increases sex discrimination and sex stereotyping – violating numerous federal and state laws. These reports recommend that the Department of Education rescind the 2006 Title IX regulation and provide guidance on what is and is not permissible to help end this increased sex discrimination. The three part FMF report also provides insights and recommendations on what gender equity advocates and states can do to identify and end unlawful sex segregation in U.S. public schools.

FMF Education Director Sue Klein said, “While this increased deliberate sex segregation in some 1,000 schools is numerically insignificant considering there are about 98,000 K-12 U.S. public schools, it represents backsliding on Title IX protections against sex discrimination. As Title IX celebrates its 40th anniversary with triumphs (PDF) in many areas, efforts should be focused on stopping the backsliding toward increased sex segregation and instead, creating more gender equitable coeducation which counteracts, rather than reinforces, sex stereotypes.”

The report found that during 2007-10, over 1,000 public K-12 schools instituted deliberate single-sex education in all but four states (HI, NH, ND, WY). Most were single-sex classes in coed public middle and elementary schools. FMF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have not found evidence of full legal compliance with non-discrimination provisions in any of the sex-segregated schools studied or any credible evidence that sex segregation (or the exclusion of girls or boys from any class) resulted in improved achievement or a decrease in sex discriminatory outcomes that is any better than comparable coeducation. Additionally, distinguished academic researchers from the American Council for Coeducational Schooling are not only documenting the false claims of advocates of single-gender education, but are also finding that sex segregated education is likely to be harmful.

FMF Press Release 6/26/12; NCWGE Study; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/4/12, 9/26/11

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