National Girls and Women’s Sports Day is a day to celebrate all the successes that girls and women have had so far, but it’s also a day to think about the obstacles we face. One of those is the lack of data surrounding girls in high school athletics – so I sat down with our own Title IX expert, Neena Chaudry, and our data whiz, Kate Gallagher Robbins, to get a better understanding about what we’re missing.
Becka: When I e-mailed Kate to talk about sitting together to chat, she joked, “I could do the interview right now – in short, we need more data!” What is the number one aspect you each wish you had more data on?
Neena: I have a list! But the number one thing I wish we had was data for each individual school. Only some schools have data available from the U.S. Department of Education, but many don’t. I’d love to get participation rates broken down by sub= groups – particularly to see the numbers of girls of color on high school teams.
Kate: I would really love to dive even deeper and get some individual-level data. The school has the numbers – how many girls who are playing sports are also taking AP Classes, et cetera. More detail would help us determine some interesting correlations and where the gaps are.
Neena: Could we get that? Aren’t there privacy concerns?
Kate: There’s a way to do it while respecting privacy – it would be a different data set. Information about the individual, but without any specifics – for example, Becka would be student number 379 in this region of the country, and I would know that she played lacrosse and took AP Literature, but if I met Becka, I would have no idea she was student number 379.
Becka: Gotcha – so a deep level of anonymous detail.
Have you seen Brooklyn Castle yet? If not, head out and see it ASAP. It’s an incredibly uplifting story of the chess team at I.S. 318 in Brooklyn, New York – a team that started in the 1990s and, 20 years later, is one of the most feared teams in the world of competitive chess.
The movie tells the stories of five members of the team, against the back story of a year in the life of the team amidst continual budget cuts to New York City schools. The film depicts how the cutbacks affect kids -- not only on the chess team, but throughout the school. It’ll inspire you and make you walk through Chinatown at 10 PM on a Friday ranting about the importance of extracurricular activities. Read more »