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Back to April Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 231 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS APRIL 2005

Nosy Survey in NYC
A new federally funded psychological study is targeting hundreds of Manhattan public school 6th-graders with potentially offensive questions.

The questions include:

  • How much does your father or mother like or love you?

  • How often do you feel that adults treat you like you're not smart because of your race or ethnicity?

  • We have given you a list of the names of all the kids in your grade. Who gets picked on a lot? Who is not liked by teachers?

  • How often do you spend time with your father?

Funded by a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant, researchers at New York University are paying $5 to each student for the first batch of questions, and another $20 for a follow-up interview. In addition, they offer up to $180 each to mothers to respond to questions about their children and $3 each to teachers for writing student behavioral evaluations. Researchers hope to study 1,000 children and follow them to 8th grade. The study is called Project RAP (Real Adolescent Perspectives).

The parental consent form offers to provide counselors' phone numbers to children who "feel upset or uncomfortable" with the survey. Some parents have objected to the racial tone of some of the questions.

Participating students were pulled from class to answer the questions. Math and social studies classes were interrupted until parents rebelled. The researchers subsequently conducted the surveys during gym class. City officials approved the study but denied giving permission for taking students out of any class. (New York Post, 2-7-05)


 
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