Michael Daniel NYT Oct 25, pg A1, A13, Change in Federal Rules Backs Single-Sex Public Education 10-31-2006 The

Bush administration made policy changes that allow for more same sex public schools. The old policy required schools to provide a comparable school for students of the sex that isn’t taught in the same-sex school. So for every boys school there must be a comparable girls school. The new policy says that Public schools now have the option of offering a comparable coeducational school for a student to choose, so now a district may have an all girls school and a coeducational school but they don’t need to offer a boys school. Schools are expected to respond by opening many more same sex schools than currently exist. Proponents claim that research shows that children will learn better if they are segregated. Opponents claim that segregation is sexism. The ACLU said that they are looking into the matter but that they are going to find it hard to challenge the law in court. The argument for opening more same-sex schools relies on questionable research. The head of the federal education department’s office of civil rights supports the new policy. She admitted that educational research is, “… ongoing and shows some mixed results…” The article also states that, “The interest in separating boys from girls in the classroom is a part of a movement to allow more experimentation in public schools.” This policy shift is not the result of policymakers looking at the conclusions that researchers came up with and responding to those conclusions. It is the result of policymakers coming up with an experiment and using the entire public school system as a kind of a laboratory for educational experiments.

This news disappoints me. As a country have come a long way as far as civil rights go. I believe, as Martin Luther King did, that the concept of ‘separate yet equal’ is inherently false. I knew that there were a few sexually segregated schools that hadn’t caught up to the civilized world yet. I thought that they were slowly becoming fewer. Sexism is a difficult problem to fix to begin with. We should not be creating more sexism by segregating the schools. Coed schools have problems as it is with preparing students for the corporate world. Segregating schools sexually will only make school even more different from the corporate world which will make it even harder for graduates to perform on the job. Aside from the subject of sexual segregation in schools, I believe that the larger issue of sexism in general has deeper underlying problems that need to be brought into the open. The need for equality somehow needs to be balanced with the individuals’ need to feel engendered. Most women say that they would not vote for a woman running for president. Is this because women believe that a man can do a better job or is the job of president not feminine enough? Women in the workplace are treated differently than men are treated. It’s not just men who treat women differently. Women sometimes treat other women as if they are inferior to men. I am not trying to blame women for the sexism that they suffer from. I simply believe that everybody needs to change their attitudes towards women in the workplace, and not just men. Men have been told to do this for years and many of them still resist it. I am not denying that men are guilty of terrible acts of sexism. I am saying that sometimes women are sometimes guilty of it as well and that should be addressed somehow.