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Title IX coordinators as street-level bureaucrats in U.S. schools: Challenges addressing sex discrimination in the #MeToo era

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Published: 2018-06-04

Authors

Elizabeth J. Meyer

University of Colorado Boulder

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1974-1576

Andrea Somoza-Norton

California Polytechnic State University

Natalie Lovgren

California Polytechnic State University

Andrea Rubin

California Polytechnic State University

Mary Quantz

University of Colorado Boulder

Keywords: gender equity; policy; law; gender studies; administration; qualitative research; sex fairness; discrimination; USA

Abstract

Sex discrimination in educational contexts is an ongoing problem despite the passage of Title IX in 1972. Many schools have not aligned their policies with new laws protecting students from bullying and harassment, and many professionals are unaware of their new obligations in regards to new state regulations. This article presents the findings from semi-structured interviews with 10 participants reporting on the roles and responsibilities of Title IX coordinators in their K-12 school districts. Title IX coordinators were difficult to locate and recruitment was a challenge in this study. However, our findings indicate a strong alignment with Lipsky’s concept of “street-level bureaucrats” (1971, 2010). We found that these school administrators had autonomy and discretion in interpreting and enacting their duties, however they lacked time, information, and other resources necessary to respond properly to the stated duties in their position. They reported spending very little time on Title IX-related duties, many felt under-supported and under-prepared, and few had comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities. We conclude with recommendations for policy and practice regarding the training and supports of Title IX coordinators and related gender equity efforts in K-12 schools.

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Author Biographies

Elizabeth J. Meyer

University of Colorado Boulder

Elizabeth Meyer is the Associate Dean of Students at the University of Colorado Boulder and Associate Professor in the Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice program in the School of Education.

Andrea Somoza-Norton

California Polytechnic State University

Dr. Norton is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Educational Leadership and Administration program in the School of Education at California Polytechnic State University.

Natalie Lovgren

California Polytechnic State University

Ms. Lovgren is a graduate of the Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration program in the School of Education at California Polytechnic State University.

Andrea Rubin

California Polytechnic State University

Ms. Rubin is a graduate of the Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration program in the School of Education at California Polytechnic State University.

Mary Quantz

University of Colorado Boulder

Ms. Quantz is a Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice program in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Published: 2018-06-04

How to Cite

Meyer, E. J., Somoza-Norton, A., Lovgren, N., Rubin, A., & Quantz, M. (2018). Title IX coordinators as street-level bureaucrats in U.S. schools: Challenges addressing sex discrimination in the #MeToo era. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 68. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.26.3690