by Riley Murray
While the ACT college entrance exam begins to edge past the SAT in the test taking market, a very different type of test is gaining momentum among the high school set. The use of pregnancy tests has increased three-fold among high school seniors over the past five years. Upon deeper examination of the data, researchers found a surprising causal factor: a disproportionate number of high school senior girls, who had to purchase a second pregnancy test because they either could not understand the written directions or could not make meaning of the actual pregnancy test results. One respondent indicated that she “couldn’t tell if the positive sign meant, ‘Yes, I was pregnant,’ or ‘It’s a positive!’ for me because I didn’t want to get pregnant.”
Buck Mantooth of the Abstinence Only Education Initiative (AOEI), one of only a handful of vowel-only acronyms remaining in education circles, claims, “These data provide just one more glaring example of how our young people are abstaining from reading, when they should be abstaining from sex before marriage.” And, in a rare moment of agreement, the Pregnancy Testing Services Association (PTSA), a trade group not to be confused with your local Parent Teacher Student Association, and the AOEI in conjunction with both ACT and SAT concurred that a call for greater emphasis on reading and analytical skill development at the secondary level is warranted if the United States wishes to compete in anything other than teen birth rates.