Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Educational Curriculum that Really Works

One educational curriculum that has delivered on its promises – unlike the failed Common Core – is the abstinence program used in the public schools of Collier County, Florida. In the eight years since the program began, births to unwed teen mothers, ages 15 to 19, have fallen an amazing 50 percent, and cases of STDs among girls in that same age group have also dropped from 29th to the third lowest among Florida’s 67 counties.

The curriculum distributed by the Collier County Abstinence Program was introduced ten years ago in the 7th and 8th grades, and proved so successful that age-appropriate versions are now also used in the 6th and 9th grades. Abstinence materials published by A&M Partnership are used in all 17 middle schools and all 8 high schools throughout the county. Collier County’s student population is only 37% white.

Several factors contributed to making Florida a good place for abstinence education. Florida state law requires public schools to “teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage.” The same law also requires schools to “teach that each student has the power to control personal behavior.” The other key factor is that Florida allows public schools to accept donations of supplementary materials and use those materials in the classroom to fulfill any required curricular objective. The 6th-, 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-grade course books provided without charge by the nonprofit Collier County Abstinence Program were welcomed by classroom teachers who saw how beneficial it is to have healthy kids.

If you really care about “what works” in middle school, adopt the Collier County Abstinence Program in your public school.

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