Leave it to my favorite rad-fem outfit, the National Organization for Women to oppose single-sex public education on the ground that–girls and their parents actually want it! Yes, although girls-only public schools have proved to be dazzling experimental successes in inner cities where the pressure on young girls to trade in their college and career prospects for hanging with gangs and early pregancy are strongest.

The girls and their parents love the schools and want more of them. But NOW’s position is: We can’t have that. Read this list of reasons why NOW’s feministas oppose a Bush administration proposal to expand the girls’ schools, in which NOW says the changes would:

“Authorize the most general and unproven assertions as sufficient justification for single-sex classes. Under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, schools may offer single-sex programming that is compensatory and that will assist females in overcoming barriers to equal educational opportunity and in over-coming sex-stereotyping. The new regulations bypass these requirements, allowing single-sex programs to be offered for any reason (such as, particular identified educational needs of students’), without any standards of assessment.

“Create a standard unprecedented in civil rights law ‘ that parent and student ‘preference’ can dictate the scope of civil rights protections. This proposed provision is one of the most regressive changes, in that it would allow single-sex classes or schools based on student or parental preferences. Parents have never been able to opt out of legal mandates that schools be desegregated. The provision would likely be found unconstitutional.

“Not require ‘scientifically based’ evidence for implementation of single-sex programs, contrary to mandates of the ‘No Child Left Behind Act,’ which is current law. Schools would have to use only what they think is ‘reliable information and sound educational judgment’ in structuring single-sex programs ‘ not requiring them to use a demonstrated scientific or empirical basis for the new programs. Schools could go forward with single-sex education based on mere belief of parents that such programs would be beneficial!”

Imagine such a thing! The “mere belief of parents that such programs would be beneficial”! We can’t trust parents to provide what’s best for their female children, can we? But that’s NOW for you: Bureaucrats know best about how to help women.