Friday, February 22, 2008

Survey says? No baseball

In Michigan, the Gladstone Area Schools will not be adding baseball any time soon. Though there is interest in the sport, starting a program would further exacerbate the Title IX problems the district is having. They have not achieved proportionality which would mean adding baseball would mandate adding a girls' sport which, officials say, is not in the budget. They cannot cite compliance with prong 2 because in the last decade gymnastics has been cut and only competitive cheer added.
But in the hopes of complying with prong 3, interests and abilities, the schools surveyed their high school students. The results showed that the boys definitely want to play baseball but that girls are interested in, among other things, gymnastics, bowling, swimming, and soccer.
So no baseball. But if I was a high school girl in the Gladstone Area Schools interested in playing one of those sports I would take that survey data and demand the creation of a new program. They aren't proportional, aren't expanding the program, aren't meeting interests and abilities and there is a survey* that says girls want to play sports. The district may have just surveyed themselves into a corner.

* I am not advocating the use of surveys in assessing compliance with prong three. I am aware of the many faults of such "evidence."