Senators should ask DeVos about Title IX

The U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has at least another week to consider what it will ask Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos since it delayed her nomination hearing from Jan. 11th to next Wednesday, Jan. 18. My suggestion: Ask her about Title IX. Does she understand that it’s a civil law operating under civil procedures, not criminal ones? Does she agree that Title IX is important for elementary and secondary schools as well as higher educational institutions? Is she aware that it’s about so much more than the hot-button issues of sports or sexual assault or transgender bathrooms? For the […]

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Fake news generates fake history

Pop quiz: Who said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Go ahead, google it. You’ll find lots of sources all over the Web and social media agreeing that the quote came from poet and writer Maya Angelou. But they’re all wrong. The modern crisis of fake news has a corollary in fake history, which is why I find myself returning to original (“primary”) sources as I research the history of Title IX. It’s difficult to discern the fakeness of the quote above by online searching because it’s been repeated so often that it dominates search results. Eventually, another source […]

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Spotting truthiness in Title IX debates

So much of what passes for informed discussion about Title IX is tantamount to truthiness, the wonderful word coined by comedian Stephen Colbert. Some people prefer what they wish to be true instead of the historical reality of Title IX. Whether in debates about the handling of sexual assault and harassment complaints on campuses, or in the never-ending whining by men’s sports fans that Title IX is killing their sports, some inaccuracies certainly are due to an unfortunate lack of knowledge about Title IX despite it being the most important legislation for U.S. women since the right to vote. In […]

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