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Survey: Some Schools Weak in Sex Ed

By Andrea Schoellkopf
Journal Staff Writer
       Many Albuquerque high schools are failing to teach students the state standards for sex education, a local nonprofit group says.
    Young Women United is releasing a report card today of 11 city high schools, based on results of a two-year survey of more than 500 students.
    Albuquerque High scored the highest with a B+, with Eldorado, Highland and New Futures getting a B. Del Norte, Manzano and Rio Grande got a C; Sandia, Valley, Volcano Vista and West Mesa got D grades. La Cueva and Cibola did not generate enough responses to be included.
    While the state adopted content standards and bench marks in 2006, the only required instruction is about HIV and related issues.
    The group wants the state sex education standards and bench marks taught in all high schools.
    "It is definitely important because New Mexico is second-highest in the country for teen pregnancy and has really high (sexually transmitted disease) rates, as well," said Andrea Garza, a community organizer with Young Women United.
    APS spokesman Rigo Chavez said officials have not seen the survey and "we don't know how it was conducted or what methods they used, so it's difficult for us to comment on the validity of that survey. We would be willing to meet with the representatives of Young Women United to discuss our curriculum at any time," he said.
    The state standards include concepts related to disease prevention and health, and information about how to get health information and services. Others include discussions of risky behaviors, messages in the media related to sexuality and consequences from various decisions.
    A grade of B meant that a majority of students responding to the survey reported learning at least 75 percent of the content standards, Garza said.

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