Mar 142014
 
This entry is part 41 of 45 in the series Principal's Notes

Principal Michael Mastrullo reports on a controversy generated by a student survey this week.

Yesterday (Thursday, March 13) we administered two surveys at the high school — The Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the National Student Report to Congress. These two surveys are mutually exclusive; there is absolutely no correlation between the two documents. A brief description of the two surveys follows.

Please note that all National Student Reports To Congress have been shredded.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was anonymous and voluntary, is used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to develop health curriculum. The DESE requires towns to engage in local needs assessments to assist with identifying targets for health education. The Youth Survey, a survey in which we have participated in the past, is anonymous and will provide information that will assist in planning future adolescent health curriculum and initiatives. These anonymous surveys have been submitted to DESE.

(The Youth Risk Behavior Survey has been used in Groton-Dunstable schools for more than 12 years. The local coordinator of information and administrator of the tests is Emerson hospital — for more information on the survey, including the 2012 results, visit http://www.emersonhospital.org/en/HealthResources/YouthRiskBehaviorSurvey.aspx — Ed.)

The National Student Report to Congress, which was also a voluntary survey, included two sections. The first part of the survey, which asked students for their contact information, collected general information regarding potential college choices and areas of academic interest. The second portion of The National Student Report to Congress included a separate, anonymous component entitled, “Student Report Ballot,” which asked students to provide their anonymous opinions on topics such as the efficacy of Congress and the performance of the President. This portion of the survey did not include any student contact information; it was entirely anonymous.

Some parents have expressed concern about the inclusion of student contact information in the National Student Report to Congress. Thus, as noted above, in an effort to assuage any concerns regarding the inclusion of student contact information, all National Student Reports To Congress have been shredded.

(The National Student Report to Congress appears to be a marketing effort of a company called My College Options that maintains a web presence that includes previous copies of the report at https://www.mycollegeoptions.org/Content/ForHighSchools/NationalSummaryReport.aspx — but the page is currently empty. — Ed.)

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