Evolving Philosophy Statement

Date: Nov 22, 2018

Introduction

For over the last four decades, since its inception, Title IX has been an evolving law, which has experienced various court cases in order to define and redefine it (Hueben, 2003). Prior to the enactment of Title IX, the major school-based physical activities for women were square dances and cheerleading. Statistics have indicated that only one girl in 27 participated in high school sports. In addition, there were almost no college scholarships for female sportspersons. The programs for female college athletes were entitled to only 2 per cent of the entire athletic budget allocation. Since its adoption, the law has revolutionized athletic programs for women in most colleges and high schools. Now female athletes have the chance to take part in sports. In fact, the number of female athletes has been increasing dramatically. Heckman (2003) affirmed that it is due to the several challenges to the refinement of the law. One of such refinements is the enactment of the High School Athletics Accountability Act of 2009. It was aimed at amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in order to direct coeducation and secondary schools to avail information concerning equality in school athletic programs. This amendment is likely to cause certain outcomes. In this regard, this paper reviews certain outcomes of the enactment of High School Athletics Accountability Act of 2009.

Outcomes Resulting from the Enactment

The proposal required every coeducational elementary or secondary school, which is participating in any program stipulated in this Act and has an athletic program, to prepare a report containing athletic information (House of Representatives, 2009). Such information might relate to various aspects of gender, ethnicity and race. The proposal stipulates that every elementary and high school should provide a report containing the number of students that attend the school. For every student, the ethnicity, race and sex must be recorded. Such information is important in tracking equity in high school sports.

The law also requires high schools to provide a listing of teams that participate in athletic competitions. For every team, the total number of participants, as of the day of the scheduled competition must also be recorded (Heckman, 2003). The sex, race and ethnicity of each participant are also to be included in the report. The total expenditures for every team from nonschool and school sources, such as expenditures for travel, for equipment, for uniforms, for facilities, for training and medical facilities and services, for publicity, and for competitions must also be included in the annual report. Such information is important in instilling financial accountability among athletic administrators and athletic departments, while also promoting gender equity among athletes.

The proposal has an impact on the trainers and medical personnel allocated to the athletic teams. It requires identification of trainer and medical personnel by sex, employment status, and qualifications. House of Representatives (2009) pointed out that equity in high school sports does not only concern athletics but also personnel. The employment status of medical personnel and trainers can either be part-time or full time. It specifies whether an individual is an assistant or head trainer and have the duties other than offering medical or training services. All the coaches are also identified by their sex, employment status and qualifications. The proposition has an effect on the average institutional salary that is attributable to coaching of the head coaches of male teams, across all offered athletics (Sander, 2010). For the purposes of reporting annual institutional salary, if a coach has responsibilities for more than a single team, and school does not allocate such salary of the coach by team, the school should divide the salary by the number of teams for which the coach has responsibility and allocate the salary among teams based on the coach’s responsibility for different teams.

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The most important impact of this proposal would be the disclosure of information to students and public. Every coeducational secondary or elementary school is required to make information contained in every report public to the potential students, public, and students upon request (Stevenson, 2007). These institutions are also required to ensure that all students at school and members of relevant community are informed of their right to request information.

Personal Opinion of the Potential Outcome

From the personal standpoint, the level of self-esteem and confidence among girls will increase significantly. Studies have frequently indicated that girls participating in athletics have higher confidence level and lower depression level. According to Suggs (2012), they are more likely to have a positive body image than female students who do not participate in athletics. Studies have also revealed that female athletes are half as likely to suffer from unintended pregnancy as compared to the female students not participating in any sporting event. The enactment can be lined to higher graduation rates of female athletes, better grades, and reduced rates of using illegal drugs.

This proposal will increase opportunities available to women. Regardless of the advances in athletic opportunities for girls and women since the enactment of Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972, the United States Department of Justice (2012) pointed out that discrimination still limits significantly the athletic opportunities for females in intercollegiate and interscholastic sports. Girls constitute about 49 per cent of the entire high school population. However, they receive only about 41 per cent of the entire interscholastic sports participation openings countrywide. It reflects about 1.3 million fewer openings to participate in high school athletics for female students than for male students. According to Heckman (2003), these lost participation openings also lead to the loss of athletic scholarships, which enable most young women and girls to attend college. Since the proposal aims at tracking the equity in high school sports, it is likely to reveal practices of discrimination against female athletes.

Another outcome of the proposal is that it will reveal the inferior benefits received by female students. There exists sufficient evidence that female athletic programs often receive inferior services and benefits when they play. The inferior services and benefits are linked to the overall budget, uniforms, travel, equipment and facilities, such as fields, locker rooms, and competitive and practice facilities, publicity, medical and training services, scheduling of games, practices and sports seasons, and access to coaches (House of Representatives, 2009). The proposal is likely to address these issues by keeping track of the equity in high school sports.

The High School Athletics Accountability Act of 2009 is also likely to provide information concerning how athletic benefits and opportunities are being allocated at the secondary and elementary school levels (Hueben, 2003). Without such information, students might be deprived of openings to participate in athletics and to receive athletic scholarships to attend college.

This proposal will also increase the awareness of athletic benefits and opportunities available to both female and male students. Parents, schools, and students need to be aware of these opportunities (Sander, 2010). It will enable them to enhance other athletic opportunities for all and deal with any inequalities.

General Personal Opinion

My opinion would not change as an athletic director, coach or a superintendent. Female students have received about 1.3 million fewer opportunities to participate in high school athletics than male counterparts (House of Representatives, 2009). Girls are often shortchanged in the treatment of their teams when allowed to participate. In addition, at the college level, women continue facing limitations on their openings to play sports. Compounding these inequalities, over the last 8 years, the US Department of Education failed to sufficiently enforce Title IX mandate of equality in athletics. With this proposal, the inequalities can be addressed effectively. My opinion towards this proposal is that tracking inequities in high school athletics will increase women’s opportunities and deal with discrimination against athletes. Equality implies treating both male and female athletes equally. There have been claims that Title IX has significantly reduced opportunities for male students in athletics (House of Representatives, 2009). It is perhaps of the unfair treatment of male athletics. Tracking equality in athletic department will ensure that there are adequate opportunities for both male and female athletes in coeducational elementary and high school athletes. Coaches, athletic administrators and superintendents are faced with the challenge of treating both male and female athletics equally because of various factors, such as physical abilities of athletes. With this proposal, the challenge can be eliminated. That is why I support this proposal.

Recommendations

Coeducational elementary and high school should take proactive steps in cultivating talents of girls and young women in these fields. Policy makers should offer help to schools in doing so. According to Suggs (2012), the administration should offer technical help to schools on the ways of implementing such programs. Suggs (2012) mentioned that the Congress should also offer assistance to schools in order to expand their efforts in recruiting and retaining students from under-represented populations, and hold high schools accountable for making progress in order to fully diversify their programs. By holding schools accountable, the Congress should ensure that schools meet the reporting requirements as stipulated by the proposal.

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According to Stevenson (2007), the Congress should pass a legislation that offers students with similar legal protections applying to employees in the workplace. Addition, the OCR must enhance enforcement of the law by undertaking adherence reviews and offering guidance and technical assistance on efficient procedures to avert harassment.

Another recommendation is that coeducational elementary and high schools should include dropout prevention programs modified to the needs of girls, and particularly address the specific needs of parenting and pregnant students. Approximately one half of female dropouts affirm that pregnancy and parenting responsibilities were the main factor in the choice of abandoning school. The US Department of Education should inform both elementary and high schools of their responsibilities to avoid discrimination against pregnant students (United States Department of Justice, 2012). This will ensure evolution of the law to cover aspects of education other than athletics. Schools should make sure that their policies and personnel do not discriminate against parenting and pregnant students. For instance, schools should not exclude a student from extracurricular activities because she is pregnant, has a child, or is recovering from any of these conditions.

Conclusions

The High School Athletics Act of 2009 is an evolving educational philosophy concerning Title IX. This act seeks to track equity in high school sports and other aspects of education. The core issue in this proposal is the equal treatment of male and female students in athletes. Initially, Title IX concerned athletics, but the enactment of High School Athletics Act extended this concern to other areas, including life of students. It is perhaps what scholars might refer to the evolution of Title IX to include other areas of students’ life apart from athletics. The proposal required every coeducational elementary or secondary school, that participate in any program stipulated in this Act and has an athletic program, to prepare a report containing athletic information. Such information might relate to various aspects of gender, ethnicity and race.

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