The Transformation Of Title IX: Regulating Gender Equality In Education

Friday, June 8, 2018
Hoover Institution, Washington DC
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The Hoover Institution hosted "The Transformation of Title IX:  Regulating Gender Equality in Education" on Friday, June 8, 2018 from 9:15am - 10:45am EST.

The Hoover Institution hosted a conversation with R. Shep Melnick, a scholar of American politics and bureaucracy, on his latest book: The Transformation of Title IX: Regulating Gender Equality in Education.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 announced a broad rule of nondiscrimination in American schools: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."  

The law was passed to repair what Senator Birch Bayh, the bill's sponsor, recognized as "one of the great failings of the American educational system": namely, "the continuation of corrosive and unjustified discrimination against women." And more than forty-five years later, Title IX has done much to alleviate that discrimination, to the great benefit of millions of women and girls in the last four decades.

But in recent years, the Education Department sparked significant controversy by issuing "Dear Colleague" letters-guidance documents directing schools to adopt controversial new policies on sexual-violence investigations and transgender-rights policies. These directives were later withdrawn by President Trump's Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos.

What can we learn from the history of Title IX's evolving implementation by regulators and judges? Professor Melnick offers thoughts on this such questions in his new book, which he discussed with Hoover Institution research fellow Adam White.

Professor Melnick is Boston College's Thomas P. O'Neill Professor of American Politics, and he co-chairs the Harvard Program on Constitutional Government.


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