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DCPS Launches Sex Ed. Standardized Tests

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D.C. Public Schools will begin administering standardized tests on the subject of sexual health to students at all traditional and charter schools this spring.
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  D.C. Public Schools will begin administering standardized tests on the subject of sexual health to students at all traditional and charter schools this spring.

D.C. Public Schools students will soon be taking another standardized test – a 50-question assessment on everything from contraception to human sexuality to drug use, as well as less controversial subjects such as exercise and eating habits.

The test will be administered for the first time in April to students in grades 5, 8, and 10. A spokesman for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education says it’s unclear at this point if students will be able to opt out.

School officials are still finalizing testing procedures, and Mayor Vincent Gray appeared to be caught off guard today when asked about it, saying he didn’t have all the details.

“The Chancellor is empowered to run our education system,” says Gray. “She doesn’t need to talk with me about anything and everything. I have a lot of faith in her and so I think she has tremendous judgment.”

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, according to the Associated Press.

DCPS will be the first school district to offer standardized tests in sex education in the country, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education confirms to the AP. Public and charter schools already test students in math and reading, and the new exam will be based on sample questions written by a national panel of school administrators.

The spokesman says the results of the survey will not be used for any teacher evaluations. Rather, the test will help determine what students know about risky behavior. The city’s rates of childhood obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy are among the highest in the nation.

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