Annual Report to Congress FY 2005
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TItle IX Initiatives
In OCR’s 1979 Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Interpretation, the Department established a three-part test that OCR applies in determining whether an institution is effectively accommodating student athletic interests and abilities. An institution is in compliance with the three-part test if it has met any one of the following three parts of the test: 1) the percent of male and female athletes is substantially proportionate to the percent of male and female students enrolled at the school; 2) the school has a history and continuing practice of expanding participation opportunities which is demonstrably responsive to the developing interest and abilities of members of the underrepresented sex; or 3) the school’s present program is fully and effectively accommodating the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.
…[O]ur nation must work to ensure that all American children have an equal chance to succeed and reach their full potential.
On March 17, 2005, OCR issued “Additional Clarification of Intercollegiate Athletics Policy: Three-Part Test—Part Three.” Accompanying the Additional Clarification was a “User’s Guide to Student Interest Surveys under Title IX” and a related technical report. The Additional Clarification and User’s Guide provide further guidance on recipients’ obligations under the three-part test and are designed to help recipients understand the flexibility afforded under the test. The Additional Clarification outlines specific factors that guide OCR’s analysis of the third option for compliance with the three-part test. The User’s Guide contains a sample survey instrument to measure student interest in participating in intercollegiate varsity athletics.
In March 2004, ED published a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in the Federal Register requesting public comment on proposed amendments to the Title IX regulations that would provide additional flexibility for school districts in providing single-sex classes and schools. OCR received approximately 5,860 comments on the proposed amendments. During FY 2005, OCR continued the process of analyzing the comments and drafting final regulatory amendments.
In April 2004, OCR issued a “Dear Colleague” letter reminding all school districts to designate a Title IX coordinator, adopt and disseminate a nondiscrimination policy, and put grievance procedures in place to address complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex, as required by the regulations implementing Title IX. A similar Dear Colleague letter was sent to postsecondary education institutions in August 2004. Following up, in FY 2005, OCR initiated 39 and resolved 24 compliance reviews on institutions’ compliance with Title IX procedural requirements.
For example, OCR conducted compliance reviews at four school districts of varying sizes to determine their compliance with Title IX procedural requirements and found noncompliance in all four districts. In voluntary resolution agreements, each of the districts agreed to provide notice of a Title IX coordinator, adopt and disseminate an effective Title IX nondiscrimination notice, and adopt and publish grievance procedures for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of sex.