In addition to its flawed standards on science education, the previous Board of Education’s major achievements involved hired an unqualified Commissioner of Education and imposing abstinence-only standards on sex ed classes. The new Board reversed the science standards debacle, is currently selecting a new Commissioner with an actual background in education policy, and will reverse the sex ed mistake. The old Board had recommended that sex ed only cover abstinence, and suggested that school districts require parents to opt-in to sex ed classes, rather than the more common opt-out system. Abstinence only programs don’t work and mislead students. Indeed, some studies show that such programs induce children to replace vaginal intercourse with (unprotected) anal and oral intercourse.
The new standards will not push school districts either way on opt-out or opt-in, and will recommend a comprehensive approach to sex ed. That means covering contraception as well as the importance of abstinence and faithfulness within a relationship.