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Organizations Blame District Office For Inaccurate Data

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By Natalie Neumann

Youth health organizations are outraged at the district's superintendent of education for not properly implementing a survey that could affect their funding.

The responses for the Center for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey weren't sufficient for accurate data. The CDC needed a 60 percent response rate but only received 36 percent. The survey includes information on student depression, seat belt and condom use.

The office of the state superintendent of education is responsible for implementing the survey. In a hearing discussing the office, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray was not satisfied with the survey results.

"The 36 percent response rate is not good."

Joyce Fourth represents the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. She says reliable data is the foundation for sound policy.

"Without it, it is not possible to make good decisions," she says.

She says the inaccurate data will make organizations like hers less competitive in winning grants and other funding.

Some organizations accused the office of not making health a priority.

Kerri Briggs is State Superintendent of Education for the district. In a written statement she says student health is a priority and the office has taken steps to improve the next survey responses.

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