Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vermilion Parish Ends Single-Sex Education

The school board in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, voted earlier this month to end its single-sex education program at Rene Rost Middle School, which began in 2009. You may recall that in April, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in the litigation over this program, which clarified that the courts would require the school board to have "exceedingly persuasive justifications," consistent with the Equal Protection Clause, if it continued to assign its students to certain classes or deny them from others on the basis of sex. We predicted that such a standard would be difficult for the board to meet, especially in light of the fact that the Rost principal's claims that such classes produced better outcomes were later revealed to be rooted in his own falsified data. However, the reported reason for the school board's decision was a low level of parental support for single-sex classrooms. The school board's decision ends the litigation against Vermilion Parish.