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Students now required to take standardized sex ed, health test

D.C. test is first in the U.S.; treads on touchy subjects

D.C. is treading on shaky ground, considering the polarizing issues of sex education in public schools and standardized testing.

According to the District of Columbia’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), D.C. public schools are planning to test students on their knowledge of human sexuality, contraception, and drug use this spring.

The D.C. OSSE, which developed the 50-question exam for grades 5, 8 and 10, said it will be the first standardized test on health and sex education in the country.

The city’s rates of childhood obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy are among the highest in the country. School officials say the test will help determine what students know about risky behavior.

Already, South Carolina is field testing a statewide health-education assessment, according to the Council of Chief State School Officers, which helped developed a group of sample questions for the test, along with local educators.

The questions have also been aligned to health education standards approved by the D.C. State Board of Education in 2008 to guide instruction on subjects such as STDs, HIV/AIDs, conflict resolution, and respectful communication.

However, some say D.C. is treading on shaky ground, considering the polarizing issues of sex education in public schools and standardized testing.

Officials said the annual test will help gauge what students know about sex, health, and drugs, but some say you don’t need to measure what you already know.

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Comments:

  1. srhood9

    September 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    If we are really committed to dealing with the healthcare crisis in the U.S. we must educate people on how to take care of themselves and it needs to be skill based instruction and fully integrated in grades k-12. Health Education has not been considered an academic subject -EVER- and elementary teachers have NO preparation in college to teach the subject, let alone in an age-appropriate way or in a skill based way. Europeans have a whole child approach to health education and sex education and data supports that they are doing things well since their teen pregancy rates are miniscule compared to the U.S.
    Whatever it takes to get Health Ed. K-12 I’m for it,
    If you don’t have your health you cannot be a positive contributor to society.

  2. ldavis130

    September 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    You will never get a handle on sex problems in school until you put morals back in the school system.