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

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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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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
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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.