Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments states that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." Although Title IX prohibits sexual harassment, the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in Gesber v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S. 274 (1998), and Davis v. Monroe, County, 526 U.S. 629 (1999) made it far more difficult for individual students to bring lawsuits for monetary damages against school districts for the behavior of teachers.
In terms of student achievement, research shows that in states where girls do well on standardized tests, boys also do well, and in states where girls score lower, so do boys (Corbett, Hill, & St. Rose, 2008). And, although the widest and most persistent gaps in student achievement are between low- and high-income students and between racial/ethnic groups, gender gaps in educational outcome are a matter of concern. Girls consistently outscore boys on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading tests, especially at upper grade levels, while boys tend to outperform girls in math and science. At all grade levels, African American males score lower than African American females and white students. They’re also the most likely to be suspended or expelled from school; to be underrepresented in gifted programs/advanced placement courses; to underachieve or disengage academically; and to experience the most challenges in higher education settings (Holzman, 2010; Jackson & Moore, 2006; 2008).
One response to patterns of gender inequity, which may vary from region to region, has been a renewed push for single-sex schools and/or classrooms. As of January 2011, at least 524 public schools in the United States offer single-sex education opportunities, mostly in single-sex classrooms in coed schools (National Association for Single Sex Public Education, 2011).