Education System Failing Military, Study Finds
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WASHINGTON — Too few of our nation's recent high school graduates – particularly young people of color – have the math, reading, science and problem-solving skills necessary for enlistment in the U.S. Army, according to a study released by The Education Trust.

This report is the first-ever public analysis of data from the Army's Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), the test that determines if applicants qualify to enlist in the military.

According to the report, "Shut Out of the Military":

 • More than one in five young people do not meet the minimum standard required for Army enlistment, as measured by the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) comprised of four academic subtests of the ASVAB.

• Among applicants of color, the ineligibility rates are even higher: 29 percent of Hispanics and 39 percent of African Americans are ineligible, based on their AFQT scores.

• Minority candidates who do gain entry do so, on average, with lower scores than do their white peers. This excludes many of them from higher level educational, training and advancement opportunities offered by the U.S. Armed Forces.

The ASVAB is the most widely used multiple-aptitude test battery in the world, assessing abilities for the full range of occupations available throughout the military. Because those jobs closely mirror occupations available in the civilian workforce, young people who fall short on the ASVAB are likely unprepared for many civilian jobs, too.

"Too many of us, including educators, have comforted ourselves with the notion that kids who aren't ready for college can find a place in the armed services. These findings shatter that myth and strip away the illusion of opportunity available to underprepared students," said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust. "Our economy, our democracy and our national security demand much more than our schools are delivering now. The question is when we will step up to ensure that all of our students graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to be ready to take on any challenge they – and the nation – may face."

Using data from the nearly 350,000 high school graduates aged 17-20 who took the ASVAB between 2004 and 2009 to qualify for enlistment in the U.S. Army, the report sheds light on national and state-by-state performance on ASVAB, both overall and by racial and ethnic subgroups.

Though the sample is self-selected, rather than representative, state-to-state comparisons reveal vast differences in performance. The states in which more than 30 percent of applicants scored too low to enlist were Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi and Washington, D.C. In Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Wyoming, on the other hand, the rate of ineligibility among Army hopefuls was less than 15 percent.

Roughly speaking, states with greater numbers of minority applicants had higher overall rates of ineligibility, but there often are striking differences between groups within the same state. In Illinois, for example, 24 percent of the state's nearly 12,000 ASVAB test-takers were not eligible for enlistment. However, ineligibility rates among Illinois' young people of color were significantly higher than those of their white peers: 41 percent of African Americans and 29 percent of Hispanics were ineligible whereas 16 percent of white applicants were ineligible.

Differences also exist between states. In New York, for example, the ineligibility rate among African-American applicants was 29 percent. Yet the ineligibility rates among African-American high school graduates in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin were even higher, ranging from 41 percent to over 47 percent.

And in Massachusetts, 40 percent of Hispanics were ineligible for enlistment, close to twice the failure rate among Hispanic applicants from Georgia and North Carolina. Indeed, Hispanic students in those two states had similar rates of qualification to white applicants in Vermont.

"Report after report from national and international assessments demonstrates patterns of student learning similar to those we found on the ASVAB: overall performance that is low, and particularly dismal results for young people of color. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that our K-12 education systems are not meeting the needs of our students nor those of the nation as a whole," said Christina Theokas, author of the report and director of research at The Education Trust. "How many studies will it take, or how poor do the results have to be, before we act decisively?"

Other state findings from the Ed Trust report include:

• In five states – Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin – the ineligibility rates among African-American test-takers were at least five percentage points above the national average for African Americans.

• In Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, ineligibility rates among Hispanic applicants were similarly higher than the national average for Hispanics.

• Ineligibility rates also vary by state for white test-takers from a low of about 10 percent in Indiana to a high of 27 percent in Maryland.

But earning a qualifying score is only a first step. For enlistees, the higher the score, the more options available. Highly skilled jobs, such as those in technical fields, require above-average scores on the AFQT and on the relevant subtests. High-scoring enlistees may qualify for additional education, training and skills development, providing access to higher level career paths and active-duty pay, and ultimately more opportunities for success in civilian life after their service is completed.

Among those who enlisted, over 43 percent of white recruits scored in the top two categories on the AFQT, providing them with the greatest choice of careers within the Army. Meanwhile, fewer than 25 percent of Hispanic enlistees scored in this range, and fewer than 18 percent of African-American enlistees were similarly qualified.

"The tragic irony here is that the desire of so many young people to serve our nation is being thwarted by our nation's refusal to serve them well in school," said Amy Wilkins, vice president of The Education Trust. "As a country, we have to find the will to give them as much as they are willing to give to us."

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December 22, 2010 at 9:15am
Wonder how CCHS students have done?



Sample questions from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery:

Dana receives $30 for her birthday and $15 for cleaning the garage. If she spends $16 on a CD, how much money does she have left?

A. $29

B. $27

C. $24

D. $12

Ephemeral most nearly means:

A. short-lived

B. mythical

C. dead

D. exceptional

Buddhism is a religion that must be viewed from many angles. Its original form, as preached by Gautama in India and developed in the early years succeeding and as embodied in the sacred literature of early Buddhism, isn't representative of the actual Buddhism of any land today.

According to this passage:

A. Most Buddhists live in India.

B. Buddhist teachings have changed over the years.

C. Buddhism draws its teachings from early Christianity.

D. Buddhist temples can be found in any land of the world.

If 2 plus x equals 4, what is the value of x?

A. 6
B. 2

C. 4

D. 1/2

Answers: 1) A, 2) A, 3) B, 4) B

Source: http://www.military.com




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December 26, 2010 at 10:35am
How about we just reinstate the draft and require all High School students to serve a two year stint in one of the branches of service.

We then instill discipline, order, functioning as a team in the young adults and reap the benefits of having them in the service of our country.

December 26, 2010 at 1:00pm
heil doolittle
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December 26, 2010 at 3:47pm
Another perfect example of goober with nothing intelligent to say except a lame attempt at sarcasm.

goober you can save the "Nazi" reference for yourself and your alter ego dailyreader because you two are the only ones I know of in a cult.
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December 27, 2010 at 11:25am
Once again goober I never brought you into the conversation until you attempted your kindergarten sarcasm AFTER I posted a comment.

I think it is you who have become obsessed with me. You are the one following me from article to article waiting on me to post something, so you can call your kindergarten buddies and see what the latest cutdown is.

And it is not about me winning anything; I can't get you to shut up with the ignorance you bring in EVERY article long enough to actually debate anything.

And I am sorry you don't know what you are talking about AGAIN, but the draft was in place from 1948 until 1973 in the United States. Men had to fill vacancies that were not filled through volunteers during peace time. That is exactly what I am suggesting again.

So unless you are saying we are not a "civilized free nation", then you once again make yourself look stupid because you are arguing something you know nothing about.

Try reading a book every now and again and then come back and try (and I say try) to talk intelligently on a subject.
December 27, 2010 at 12:38pm
"reinstate the draft and REQUIRE ALL High School students to SERVE"

"The opinion you posted on this topic is ludicrous and would NEVER EVEN BE CONSIDERED AN OPTION by any civilized free nation."

"stop the overkill of back and forth babble"

---NOW WRITE ANOTHER ESSAY OF GARBAGE---




December 27, 2010 at 12:57pm
CMS would do little too alleviate the problem.

What we should be discussing is something along the lines of how to generate the interest of our students, their parents and our teachers to where Cannon County students will rate in the top 25% of those taking this test (I doubt seriously that they already have this ranking).

If anything, we need to slash billions from the military budget and get those dollars into programs that bring our grade and high school students off the bottom rung and into the top tier of students going on to college and tech schools---if, just if, we are going to compete in the world market.

CCHS ACT average is probably around 20 when we should be striving and spending the funds to get up over 25-- as a start.

More dumb students going into the military will mean just more dumb veterans out there competing for Wal-Mart associate positions or servers at Big Arch.



PS: If I recall correctly the draft cranked up in 1940.

Aother PS: Seems Israel either still has or did have, until recently, CMS (included women).
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December 27, 2010 at 1:02pm
Slashing billions from the defense budget I will go along with. But pumping it into an educational system that has continually declined while the cost of it has increased seems insane.
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December 27, 2010 at 3:38pm
I am honestly shocked this time at the level of ignorance (and I mean actual lack of knowledge) on goober's part and dailyreader's belief that veterans and those who serve in the military are dumb.

For over 25 years the United Sates had a REQUIRED draft where men would serve a minimum 2 year stint in a branch of the military. There is nothing ludicrous about that as goober suggests and there was nothing communist about that as goober also suggests. I daresay it did a lot of good for our country. In my opinion, it could do a lot of good for our country today if it were reinstated.

dailyreader everyone who is former military or has loved ones who are now enlisted should take offense to your statement that "More dumb students going into the military will mean just more dumb veterans out there competing for Wal-Mart associate positions or servers at Big Arch".

The men and women in our military are not "dumb" as you suggest in any way. They are heroes in every aspect. The military provides technical training, money for college, medical treatment, life insurance, room, board, clothing, sense of duty, honor, courage, discipline and cohesiveness to just name a few.

None of which would make anyone "dumb" as you say by being a part of it. For most, it would be an improvement in their home life and overall life skills needed in the real world.

You don't have to score a 25 on the ACT to be a "smart" soldier. And it doesn't make you a "dumb" soldier because you didn't score that high either. We have many Congressional Medal of Honor winners who never graduated High School.

And again, I am not sure which planet you are on, but former military gets preferential treatment when it comes to jobs. So your McDonalds and Wal-Mart jobs reference is another stupid statement.

goober, do you remember Elvis? He was drafted during peace time to serve in the Army. He didn't sign up to go, he was drafted. He served from 1958 to 1960. Buy a book on American history and read a little before you comment next time.

Companies look for those individuals who have served because they know those people are more prone to stay at a job than people like yourself who want to live off the government.

I should have known calling someone who joins the military "dumb veterans" would come from someone like you.
December 27, 2010 at 4:21pm
Agreed, Mr Halpen, present system lacks any means to accomplish what I suggested-- generate interest in education by parents, students, teachers, legislators that give us programs which will turn out graduates ready to master the difficult college courses that will give us the scholars we need to survive the onslaught from the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese along with the up and coming, Indians.

Not to be found in CCHS or the majority of schools across the USA.


Throwing money at a failing system does nothing constructive.

The apathy surrounding education is evident right here on this site.

Not long ago an article on a loss by the boy's basketball team generating dozens of comments and yet something far more serious than that loss is noted in this Courier article and it generated almost nil, except for a seven inane postings from "rednecks" philosophers.







December 27, 2010 at 7:35pm
Seems someone missed the point completely, that being, if we were to have CMS for all high school grads (they were called students above but I should think they would need to have them graduate first), we would have a great number of service personnel unable to discharge the responsibilities called for in today's highly technological oriented military.

The very first paragraph of the article noted: "Too few of our nation's recent high school graduates – particularly young people of color – have the math, reading, science and problem-solving skills necessary for enlistment in the U.S. Army, according to a study released by The Education Trust".

Why would anyone want to dump into the military those totally unqualified?

If you think all those marginal grads (students to some) are suddenly going to get what they missed in high school in two years, and take jobs at IBM after discharge, I suggest you are mistaken.

Note that during the Viet Nam era, Cheney himself, as did hundreds of thousands of others, placed themselves in tech schools and colleges and received multiple deferments---the "REQUIRED" draft was mostly for those who lacked the means and/or the intelligence to get into schools. Even during the heyday of the Iraq War we saw requirements lowered to the point the military was concerned with what they were getting to run the war with.

Only someone who does not care or has little regard for our military would want to degrade the standards we need for today's Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines along with the Coast Guard by forcing service on substandard high school graduates (or students, if one so chooses.)

Please note the title of the article:

"Education System Failing Military, Study Finds"

December 28, 2010 at 8:28am
LITTLE77--It truly shows your inability to read and comprehend as you quote me:" goober, do you remember Elvis...blab blab blab... I should have known calling someone who joins the military "dumb veterans" would come from someone like you."

You may have seen that somewhere ,as I did,but you didn't see it come from me!!

Don't know why it matters, I am sure most who read your frantic rants of obsessive anger realize your data and stats are usually wrong or not relevant, so why would we think you would attempt to get your quotes right.

I have made very few points here and your tunnel vision wont let you see the whole picture so maybe if you see it again you may realize for a brief moment you have done me an injustice by misquoting me.

"reinstate the draft and REQUIRE ALL High School students to SERVE"

"The opinion you posted on this topic (--requiring ALL high school students to SERVE--) is ludicrous and would NEVER EVEN BE CONSIDERED AN OPTION by any civilized free nation."

"stop the overkill of back and forth babble"

---NOW WRITE ANOTHER ESSAY OF GARBAGE---
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December 28, 2010 at 8:57am
The only one degrading any military is you dailyreader by calling them "dumb".

I noted the title of the article from the very beginning and I never felt the urge one time to call people "dumb" who joined the military because they didn't have the "superior intelligence" you THINK that you have and insinuate they should be required to have before joining.

I could care less about what Cheney did in 1960 whatever. None of this is about him or Slick Willie who did the same thing, but didn't inhale while he was at Oxford. Or Al Gore who positioned himself with daddy's money to be a newspaper reporter during the war. Money always talks and gets you what you want.

This is about you calling kids who don't score a 25 on their ACT "dumb veterans" if they join the military. Don't change the subject from what you really think about the people in our military.

And nothing is degrading the standards of the military by allowing those high school graduates who score 19 on an ACT to enlist.

To the contrary it helps those kids grow in many ways that you obviously never did. It gives them a sense of direction and an education that many of them would never be able to afford. And it makes them better citizens of our country, who make a positive contribution to society. Many of them go on to have great careers in life and become Doctors, Lawyers, Policemen, Generals, etc. etc.

And, most importantly, the number of them who have never scored a 25 on an ACT far outweighs those who did.

I am not sure which of you amaze me more; you dailyreader with your Kahn like superior attitude or goober that doesn't have a basic understanding of 6th grade American History and thinks we were a communist country for the 28 years we required people to serve in our military during peace time.
December 28, 2010 at 10:29am
LITTLE77--It truly shows your inability to read and comprehend as you quote me:" goober, do you remember Elvis...blab blab blab... I should have known calling someone who joins the military "dumb veterans" would come from someone like you."

AGAIN This is your quote--" calling someone who joins the military "dumb veterans" would come from someone like you."

And it is a false statement, misquote or whatever you want to call it or however you dance around the fact

YOU WERE WRONG

"goober that doesn't have a basic understanding of 6th grade American History and thinks we were a communist country for the 28 years we required people to serve in our military during peace time."

YOU dont understand that our draft was a lottery NOT that is NOT a required service of ALL ( as in communism).

Your distorted little mind loves to distort every story--"thinks we were a communist country for the 28 years..." never said or implied

SO YOU ARE WRONG AGAIN AND AGAIN

I remember someone saying and I believe it was to you --only fools argue with fools

I may just think you are a fool but I know you are compulsive and indignant individual with delusions of grandeur.




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December 28, 2010 at 7:41pm
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