Students in Washington, D.C., will soon have to study more than reading, writing and arithmetic. According to D.C.'s Office of the State Superintendent of Education, public schools will begin testing students on their knowledge of human sexuality, contraception and drug use this spring.
If it actually happens, the 50-question exam will be the first standardized test on health and sex education in the country. Students in grades 5, 8 and 10 will be required to take the test.
It's a bold move for school administrators, but not necessarily a bad one. It's unfortunate that even with in-school health and sex education classes, misinformation about sex and drugs predominates the conversation at that age. And that misinformation is what gets many kids into trouble.
School officials are hoping the test will help decrease D.C.'s rates of childhood obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy — rates that are among some of the highest in the country. This step will also hopefully give teachers more information about what kids know about sex, drugs and contraception.
What do you think about mandatory sex education in public schools?