More Bureaucrats to Fight Bias

Article excerpt

Last year the American Association of University Women released a thought-provoking report that showed that girls in school are shortchanged. They are called on less frequently in class and given less feedback on their work; textbooks tend to stereotype women; male students do better on standardized tests in alarming disproportion to their classroom grades.

This report, which was actually a review of studies done over a decade, deserved serious attention. Schools of education should have been alerted to examine their curricula to ensure that prospective teachers are trained to identify and overcome bias. Textbook publishers and those who make purchasing decisions for large districts should check to ensure that female examples are presented and in what roles. And of course, Educational Testing Service - the people who increase the tension level for teens each spring - should continue its review of the SAT and other tests to weed out questions that are biased toward white males. A new SAT format is to be used this March.

But one has to question how much of a federal case should have been made out of the report.

Four Democratic senators - Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Tom Harkin of Iowa and Paul Simon and Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois - have merged bills they individually sponsored into the Gender Equity in Education Package. …


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