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Title IX Anniversary: STEM Improvements Still Needed

posted by Womenstake
Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 4:05pm EDT

The official blog of the National Women's Law Center

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by Natalie Koski-Karell, Intern,
National Women’s Law Center

Title IX applies to all types of educational programs and activities and requires all schools that receive federal funding to provide equal opportunities to male and female students, including an often-overlooked aspect of education: girls' participation in math and science.

Female students’ participation rates in upper-level STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields are nowhere near on par with their male counterparts. For example, according to a recent report by AAUW, in 2006, women engineering students received only 19.5 percent of bachelor’s degrees and 20.2 percent of doctorate degrees. Similarly, women are drastically outnumbered in nearly every science/technical field with the exception of the biological sciences.

But yesterday we learned more about the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights' plans to make progress in these fields. In the coming months, OCR will initiate five additional compliance reviews including one that will review STEM programs at the secondary level. That’s certainly a good start. But we still have a long way to go. And with a serious focus on this issue, who knows where the innovative minds of our nation’s women will take us.

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