The recruitment of young people into the military does not take place in a vacuum. Data show that students who enlist are disproportionately minority and low income, with many having found little success in high school. Lower achievement and lack of “deep learning” in school leads to a dearth of career options, which in turn makes the military seem like the right answer to some students – and their counselors.
In the Jefferson County Public Schools, student test scores are persistently and significantly lower for minority and low-income students. Coupled with disparities in the severity of disciplinary action taken against students, these “achievement/learning gaps” contribute to what can be called a “school to military pipeline.” Until our schools start preparing all students to succeed in civilian life after graduation, many will continue to see the military as their only career option.
We are building a coalition and campaign to focus JCPS’ resources more directly on reduction of the achievement/learning gaps and elimination of disparities in student discipline. We are challenging JCPS to develop a measurable target for gap reduction in the district’s new “Vision 2020” five-year plan. JCPS’ current policy focuses on improving achievement in each of the gap groups – but that has not resulted in closing the gaps. JCPS needs a new approach and a new, additional measure of success.
Want more information about student achievement/learning gaps in the Jefferson County Public Schools and FOR’s proposal for addressing them? CLICK HERE Want to see our recent comments to the Board of Education on the new Vision 2020 five-year plan? CLICK HERE
Help us push for reduction of the inequities in the way JCPS resources are allocated, so that all students get the help they need to compete successfully in the civilian world after high school.
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