Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Don't Believe the Headlines"

Excerpted from
During the 2 ½ years that I worked for Dr. Sulak, I became quite familiar with the leading Title V, Section 510 abstinence-education programs; but I have never even heard of the four programs that Mathematica chose for its study. Mathematica did not choose well-established and well-researched abstinence programs (e.g., Scott & White Worth the Wait®, Best Friends, Not Me/Not Now, Operation Keepsake, Abstinence by Choice, Teen Aid, Sex Respect, FACTS, Project Taking Charge, etc.). Evidently these programs did not fit the Mathematica research model.

To help the public understand what the Mathematica Policy Research report is and what it is not, I have included important statements from the actual report along with my own personal comments:

These are the only four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence-Education Program grantees which were studied: (1) My Choice,My Future! in Powhatan, Virginia; (2) ReCapturing the Vision in Miami, Florida; (3) FamiliesUnited to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (FUPTP) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and (4) Teens in Control in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

These four programs were chosen because they represent diverse settings:

The evaluation team visited and observed 28 abstinence education programs across the nation. Eleven of these, representing a range of program models and serving different target populations, were invited and agreed to participate in the evaluation. This report focuses on 4 of these 11 programs. These four programs are called impact sites because they had program features and staff capable of supporting a rigorous, experimental-design impact evaluation.

What this means is that these four programs were chosen because they fit the specifications of the Mathematica Policy Research design. To say it another way, these four programs were chosen because they were situated in schools/communities which had the staff and the diversity which Mathematica needed to carry out the study.

Other programs with established and successful research to prove their effectiveness were not chosen because they did not happen to fit the research design.

Read this entire article by clicking on the link to

Read the Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. -- Impact of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs -- Final Report.

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