What’s a sign that your curriculum might not be effective? Well, if the subject in question is sex ed, then the finding that 13 percent of your high school’s female population was pregnant last year could be a hint. The Canton, Ohio, school board has decided to rethink its abstinence-only sex ed curriculum after reviewing statistics showing that 65 of the 490 female students at Timken High School were pregnant in 2005. The new curriculum, which was developed by a committee that included a minister, “moves beyond the ‘Just Say No’ approach.” Among the priorities were replacing circa-1988 health textbooks that were “older than some students,” and updating the curriculum to go beyond state department of education requirements—which direct only that “venereal diseases” be discussed and do not require information about contraception to be taught. “Sex is more complex than the information about drugs and alcohol,” said Bill Albert of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. We can say yes to that.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.