Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Now that Title IX is being relaxed, many columnists are wondering if more choice is a good thing. On both sides:What the columnists who oppose any segregation don't mention is that a few boys-only or girls-only schools isn't segregation if the students and their parents have a choice to go to integrated schools instead. Luckily with the boy-vs-girl problem, parents of boys aren't likely to be in a different socio-economic grouping than parents of girls, or to live in different neighbourhoods. So it's misleading or worse to compare same-sex classrooms to the forced segregation of black students in poor inner-city schools.

There's a potential problem promoting choice as well. The problem is that when one segment of a population is allowed free choice, it can lead to lack of choice for another segment. Imagine if separate schooling were so beneficial for boys that all parents chose segregated schools for their boys education. However, if integrated schooling were better for girls, then parents of girls wouldn't be able to choose integrated schools for their girls - no boys would go to integrated schools, leaving them effectively girl-only schools. Well, we're a long way from seeing that happen, in fact we have no evidence that this is likely. And this is the real problem: we have no evidence. A little more flexibility, at least for now, seems like a good way to gather more evidence.

No comments:

Blog Archive

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.