Irvine Schools named in Title IX Complaint

Title IX, for anyone with daughters who play sports, is a requirement that athletic programs in high school and college offers girl’s or women’s althetic programs that are fair or equal with the programs offered to boys or men.  And according to this piece in this morning’s Los Angeles Times, Irvine’s High School Programs at Northwood, Irvine High, Woodbridge and University High were found to be lacking.

From the story: “The four high schools in the Irvine Unified School District were informed Wednesday that the National Women’s Law Center had filed a complaint against them and 11 other school districts in the U.S. for allegedly failing to comply with Title IX requirements to offer equal sports opportunities for women.

Using data from 2004 through 2006, which the NWLC said were the best available, the Irvine high schools — Woodbridge, University, Northwood and Irvine — showed a growing gap of more than 10% between the number of girls enrolled versus the number who play sports.

The NWLC, based in Washington, suggested Irvine’s schools add one of four sports — field hockey, badminton, gymnastics and skiing. Of the 582 schools in the CIF Southern Section, none offer women’s skiing, five offer gymnastics, 12 offer field hockey and 39 badminton.”

Now I don’t think adding a skiing program is all that practical, but a bigger issue frankly is equal access to facilities and fields. Boy’s teams always get optimal scheduling and best available times for games and practices, while girl’s programs tend to get second class treatment.  Another way to achieve more parity for Title IX requirements is to drop some boy’s sports programs whiich would certainly appeal to the cost-cutting Republicans among Irvine’s citizens.

The larger issue is when arts and music programs, debates teams and Model UN programs, and other extracurricular programs that are typically cut to the bone or funded through parental donations, can get the same sort of clout that sports programs get will our schools offer fair and equal opportunities for all of our students.  All I can say is Northwood’s debate team strikes fear in the hearts of many opponents throughout Orange County; the football team, not so much.  If only there could be a pep rally for the debate team….one can dream.

  9 comments for “Irvine Schools named in Title IX Complaint

  1. Howard be my name
    November 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Dan, I agree that boys’ teams usually get better field/equipment access. But there are two things missing from the Times’ story I’d like to know. 1) Is there also a discrepancy at these schools between the number of boys enrolled versus the number who play sports? 2) It seems to me that immigrant girls are less likely to be interested in sports than are native-born females. Have the statistics on sports participation by Irvine girls been compared to those of schools in other areas with similar demographics?

    BTW, if you want to see who gets REALLY short shrift: try coaching an academic team that needs equipment or gym use. The needs of sports teams, both boys and girls, comes before academic teams 100% of the time.

  2. Northwood Resident
    November 12, 2010 at 9:14 am

    FYI. The football team finished may win the Pacific Coast League tonight if Beckman defeats Corona Del Mar tonight. Please do your research before you rip on Northwood’s football team.

    • November 12, 2010 at 9:44 am

      Delighted to hear the news; but I have done my research. Look at their record in the Sea View League for the prior 4 years. I think they won one or two league games in four years. And you should do your research — drop by the Speech and Debate department and check out all the hardware and huge trophies; then compare it with the trophy case outside of the gym. Additionally, the pre-league schedule is -ahem- easier than what it used to be. They went from playing Capo Dana and Kennedy in non-league games to playing some creampuffs.

      Please don’t view my comments about the football team as a criticism; but do attend a debate competition and see what sort of reaction the NWHS debate team gets to the other schools. The debate team does strike fear into the hearts of opponents. The football team, not so much.

  3. An Irvine resident
    November 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    What does striking fear into the hearts of opponents have to do with anything? Title IX, about participation,not about who wins and who loses. If Irvine’s schools are offering adequate sports opportunities along with all of the academic opprotunities they offer, they shoud prevail. The interesting thing to ponder is whether or not the National Women’s Law Center included activities such as cheerleading, pagentry, marching band, drama, jazz ensemble, ASB, and all of the clubs and unnamed other offerings at Irvine’s schools in their statistics. It seems that the schools are offering so many opportunities that unless students, male and female, are participating in MANY activities the participation rates in all of these things will be watered down. So, I guess they just have to stop offering things which interest so many students so that the participation rates in athletic will increase? This is a ridiculous thought, but I can see it getting to this point. The harder the schools try to meet the needs of the diversise student population, the worse off they become. Something is wrong with this picture!

    • November 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      I think the point of the post was that the NWLC has determined that there are not enough sports offered for girl athletes in IUSD high schools and recommended the addition of certain sports to balance Title IX requirements. I single out high school football programs only because they are the most costly sports to operate. With IUSD schools facing a $22 million shortfall, adding porograms to meet Title IX requirements seems cost-prohibitive when a more sensible thing would be to cut certain boy’s sports teams instead. The trusim in Irvine; if you want something, get motivated and raise money for it. And kids and parents do.

  4. Advantage Title Flunky
    November 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    As a world class marathon runner with times just under 12 hours, I can attest to the need of keeping women out of sports. There I was huffing and puffing my way toward the finish line of the New York City Marathon recently, cellulite glistening against the neon lime green dolphin shorts purchased for me at Walmart by mother when from out of nowhere a young girl of maybe 5 years old zipped right past me. I usually spend most of my time running credit reports on my perceived political enemies down here on my employers dime, changing mothers diapers or writing blog post in return for cash from Sal, Michele or Miguel, so I’m in no shape to keep up with a 5 year old caucasian girl. And as a supporter of Shawn Nelson and John Moorlach I’ve written them both letters asking them to ban women from sports, Vietnamese from politics and queer ass artist from Santa Ana’s Artist Village.

  5. November 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    It must be Friday! Venganza!!!

  6. Ltpar
    November 14, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Bottom line on this story is not really about specific conditions in the Irvine Schools, but rather the federal government once again sticking their nose into local affairs where it doesn’t belong. Without specific instances of abuse, the best the feds could come up with was that the percentage of girls enrolled was greater than those participating in athletics. Give me a break. This is nothing but bureaucratic insanity at it’s finest and a waste of tax dollars. Now the School District will have to spend scarce resources defending itself in a frivolous law suit, instead of using that money for the kids. This is just another reason to shut down the U.S. Department of Education and let the decision making be done at the lowest possible level.

    Without question, all of the non classroom activities of schools have taken a hit in these tough times. As one of those conservative Republicans you referenced, I do not subscribe to shutting down all sports programs. However, I do not believe that it is unreasonable to ask the parents of kids participating in such activities to help pay for the program costs. Of course now, the Feds are telling us that local entities cannot even do that.

    As far as the Debate Team, in my book that goes more to the academic end of the extracurricular spectrum and gets a higher priority than skiing, badminton or basket weaving. Dan, how about in the 2012 election, we get the elected officials to put the parcel tax on the ballot, instead of another Agran lame brain Initiative and lets fund the schools the right way.

  7. November 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Pat — I am all for a parcel tax that can help raise funds for the schools with IUSD controlling how the money is spent. It amounts to the cost of a Starbucks coffee a week…

    My daughter spent Thursday and Friday at home on Furlough Days or as I like to call them DeVore Holidays. The biggest waste of time is lobbying our Republican electeds in Sacramento for help to bring IUSD up to average funding. We get about half the state average.

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