QUALITATIVE STUDY OF HIGH SCHOOL TITLE IX ISSUES IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Judd, Pamela Jane
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"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 . . ." Since Title IX's enactment 40 years ago, high schools around the country have been challenged to implement the law with fidelity and in a manner that assures compliance with the Office of Civil Rights. In each school district, officials and athletic directors must make sense of the law's requirements in their individual settings. This is the challenge: to understand the law and the implications for high school sports programs, to survey students about their interests and abilities, to survey coaches about Title IX areas of compliance, to monitor proportionality in their sports programs, to have a goal of expansion of the sports programs for the underrepresented gender, and to ensure equity of benefit as opposed to equality in athletics. The Federal mandates are clear, as is the settled body of case law in collegiate athletics. Many of the NCAA rulings have implications for high schools that receive any type of federal funding. Those with high school importance are examined in this study. For this qualitative study of 6 high school districts in Washington State, 13 subjects were interviewed using a semi-structured set of questions about the challenges, strategies to address the challenges, and the successes of the strategies to address the challenges in each of their districts. The goal of compliance was always the same. Yet, how this issue was addressed in each district varied based on proportionality, the district history of expansion in sports, the expressed interest and abilities of students balanced with the district budget and relationships with patrons in the district. It is the richness of this narrative that informs the body of this study.