The Bush Administration has announced plans to re-interpret Title IX to more easily allow for the creation of single-sex schools. Presented as a plan to improve education, this new initiative is largely seen by the women’s rights community as an attack on Title IX, a 1972 federal law that bans sex discrimination in education. In an editorial appearing in USA Today, National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy expressed concern that a return to single-sex education would mean further inequity in education for girls. Gandy has also noted that in highly sex-segregated schools, girls have less access to financial and educational resources, such as advanced placement courses. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has also come out against the single-sex education plan, explaining that no scientific evidence exists that shows that single-sex schools alone improve education for girls.
Title IX already provides some limited leeway for the creation of single-sex schools and classrooms, according to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), but efforts to interpret the law more liberally may, according to NWLC Executive Director Marcia Greenberger, may lead to single-sex programs that “despite their good intentions, in fact operate to confirm and perpetuate harmful stereotypes that limit girls’ opportunities and aspirations.”