Let Girls Learn
Equal Opportunity in Education
Title IX- The Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act
Title IX prohibits discrimination by sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Although known primarily for breaking barriers in sports, Title IX also supports women and girls in the study of math and science, requires fair treatment of pregnant and parenting students, and protects all students from bullying and sexual harassment. It was signed into law in 1972.
One of the renowned results of Title IX has been increased involvement of girls and women in sports at all levels. Title IX forced education officials to recognize their responsibilities regarding the provisions of equal athletic opportunity. A college or university is not required to offer particular sports for each sex, nor are they required to offer an equal number of sports for each sex.
However, an institution must accommodate, to the same degree, the athletic interests and abilities of each sex in the selection of sports.
TEN KEY AREAS OF TITLE IX
Access to Higher Education
Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students
Math and Science
In October 2002, Title IX was renamed the Pasty Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Patsy Mink was the first Asian American woman elected to Congress, the first female representative from Hawaii, and a noted author of Title IX.
Prior to the Women’s Liberation Movement, the portrayal of girls and women in primary school readers and textbooks was troubling. Materials distributed to young students typically portrayed women and people of color as incompetent or simply absent altogether. This bias negatively influenced children’s concepts of themselves and their views of others. NOW highlighted this problem in the late 1960s, and advocated for publishing primary school readers with more inclusive content. A few years later, due to the passage of Title IX, public schools nationwide slowly started publishing more progressive content within classroom curriculums.
In California, the fight for non-sexist education did not stop with the passage of Title IX. Before any changes could be made to the state curriculum, the new primary readers had to be approved by the California Board of Education’s Advisory Commission and the Curriculum Development & Supplemental Materials Commission before being recommended--and later accepted--to the California State Board of Education.
As California men and women worked together to convince the Board of Education and Californian politicians that reform was necessary, progress continued to be made. In September of 1973, two separate bills would be signed by Governor Ronald Reagan that would protect students against sexist school curriculums. Bill 2187 prohibited instructors, school districts, and state boards from promoting any activity or classroom material that “reflect[ed] adversely” to a student’s race or gender, while Bill 1285 mandated that social studies lessons include the role and contributions of women and other minorities