JROTC AND OTHER MILITARY CADET PROGRAMS
All branches of the military support Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs in high schools across the country. A far smaller number of middle schools have similar programs. In 2013-14, Aim Higher was instrumental in building a community coalition to stop the creation of a military cadet magnet program at a JCPS middle school. It would have been the first such program in Jefferson County, and would have set a bad precedent by institutionalizing military training for 11-13 year-olds, while taking class time away from academic course work needed for success in the civilian world.
During that effort, we also learned more about the dozen JROTC programs in JCPS high schools, typically found in schools with higher concentrations of minority and low-income students. JROTC programs require drill, uniforms, military discipline, and study about military topics. All of this cuts into class time otherwise spent improving a student’s academic achievement.
Does JROTC actually help most cadets improve their academic performance? No. In fact, students in JROTC with persistently low achievement or behavior issues can be, and are, dismissed from the program. Contrary to what JROTC instructors may say to parents of prospective cadets, JCPS’ own data show that the academic performance of JCPS JROTC cadets is no higher than for non-cadets.
Want to see FOR’s analysis of JCPS student achievement data? CLICK HERE
Know a student who is considering joining a cadet program at JCPS? CLICK HERE for more reasons to stick to a JCPS college or Five Star career program track.
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