St. Louis area educators yesterday heard the White House’s deputy drug czar discuss the latest research supporting random student drug testing, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We know from countless studies that any time drug use in a school building goes up, performance on standardized tests goes down,” said Mary Ann Solberg, deputy director of National Drug Control Policy.
Sam Barclay of a group called Students for Sensible Drug Policy that opposes mandatory drug testing for students cited a 2003 University of Michigan study that found “no statistically significant difference” in drug use between schools with drug-testing programs and those without. Joseph McKinney of Ball State University called the Michigan study flawed because it lumped together all drug testing, whether voluntary, random or based on suspicion of drug use. McKinney surveyed 54 Indiana schools with random drug testing and found that 41 percent of them reported a decrease in positive drug results since 2002; 56 percent reported no change.