Government Issues Guidlines for Single-Sex Education in Public Schools

Dept_of_Education_LogoSome educators have argued that young girls and young boys achieve greater academic success when they are in classes restricted to their own gender. Some argue that in the adolescent years, both boys and girls are distracted by students of the opposite gender. Others says that girls do better in STEM courses when they don’t have to compete with boys in the same classroom. Still others claim that girls and boys learn differently and thus instruction must be gender-focused.

The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education recently released guidelines stipulating when it is acceptable to have single-sex classes in the public schools. According to the government, schools that offer single-sex classes or extracurricular activities must:

  • Identify an important objective that they seek to achieve by offering a single-sex class (such as improving academic achievement);
  • Demonstrate that the single-sex nature of the class is substantially related to achieving that objective;
  • Ensure that enrollment in the single-sex class is completely voluntary (through an opt-in, rather than an opt-out, process);
  • Offer a substantially equal coed class in the same subject;
  • Offer single-sex classes evenhandedly to male and female students;
  • Conduct periodic evaluations at least every two years to ensure that the classes continue to comply with Title IX;
  • Avoid relying on gender stereotypes;
  • Provide equitable access to single-sex classes to students with disabilities and English language learners and,
  • Avoid discriminating against faculty members based on gender when assigning educators to single-sex classrooms.

Catherine Lhamon PortaitCatherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights said that the government hopes to promote achievement while protecting all students’ civil rights. “It is our hope that this guidance will give schools, students and parents the tools they need to ensure compliance with the Title IX regulations on single-sex classes,”  she said.

Filed Under: News

RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply