Last week Vice President Joe Biden announced that the Obama administration had repealed a 2005 policy change to Title IX that had altered the way compliance to the law was measured in universities.
In lieu of the accepted construct of proportionality, the 2005 Additional Clarification of Intercollegiate Athletics Policy allowed universities to use surveys of student body interest in sports in order to assess athletic interest amongst women students.
Critics of the policy argued that the surveys unfairly skewed the results such that there was an appearance of disinterest in sports in the female student body.
Joanna L. Grossman, in her review of the history of enforcement of Title IX, highlighted the main criticism of the 2005 Clarification:
Reliance on student interest surveys is troubling because it compounds past discrimination against women as athletes. Schools create interest by funding teams, hiring top-notch coaches, providing scholarships, and promoting their sports programs. Cold surveys are much more likely to reveal stereotypes resulting from past discrimination than true interest levels. Moreover, student athletes are unlikely to apply – and thus be in the surveyed population – to a school that does not offer the sport in which they specialize. Even worse, the policy expressly permitted schools to permit all non-responses as indicators of non-interest, even though there are many reasons a survey recipient may not respond.