February 14, 2023

Under state pressure, Orange County schools drop survey on suicidal thoughts, drinking, drug use [Orlando Sentinel]

Caroline Catherman writes:

"The Orange County Public School system will discontinue its participation in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey on the health and safety of public school students after the state withdrew its support for the program.

OCPS collected 2023 survey data from students in January but no longer plans to give that data to the CDC, terminating a grant that was in place since 2001, wrote OCPS spokesperson Renée Burke in an email Tuesday.


The Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Health said in March 2022 that the state would no longer participate and would instead create a replacement survey to assess youth behaviors. That decision drew protests from groups such as the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Florida Psychological Association and the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added].

'Rather than continue with a generic nationwide survey, our intent is to improve our data collection efforts to make the survey specifically tailored to Florida’s unique needs,' said FDOE spokesperson Cassie Palelis in a prior statement to the Orlando Sentinel.

Norín Dollard, a senior policy analyst at the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added] and director of Florida KIDS COUNT, part of an annual assessment of child well-being in the United States, said that a new state-specific survey will make it difficult to compare this year’s data to past years and to compare Florida’s data to other states in order to identify how Florida’s policies impact youth."

Read more at orlandosentinel.com

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