Saturday, April 03, 2004

NCLB makes military recruiting so much easier

Can anyone tell me how giving access to military recruiters has anything to do with education?
    It is a wide and deep river of paper, and in the currents it would be easy to miss the school notification required under Sec. 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

    Think of this notification as the dangerous undertow in the river of paper from your local schools.

    It is the one required under the "Armed Forces Recruiter Access to Students" section of the "No Child" law. It says that school officials are required to turn over to U.S. military recruiters the names, addresses and phone numbers of every child - male and female - enrolled in the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12 grades of your school system.

    The school notice will inform you of this, and offer you a Do Not Call option whereby your child's name can be withheld from the list. If you do nothing, the recruiters may call day or night, and say what they will about the opportunities awaiting your child in the armed forces.

    If that is not your idea of child guidance, you have to sign a form. The form will say something like, "I am requesting that my child's name, address and telephone number NOT be released to U.S. military recruiters..."

    By all rights, the form should really say, "Please do not sell my child's name to the U.S. military so they can contact him or her without my permission ..."

    The word "sell" is the proper word.The schools get money for turning over the names of your children.

    To put the onus where it belongs, any school that does not turn over those names risks losing its federal funding under the law. For some schools, that means a lot of money.
Actually, Mother Jones has more.
    Recruiters are up-front about their plans to use school lists to aggressively pursue students through mailings, phone calls, and personal visits -- even if parents object. "The only thing that will get us to stop contacting the family is if they call their congressman," says Major Johannes Paraan, head U.S. Army recruiter for Vermont and northeastern New York. "Or maybe if the kid died, we'll take them off our list."
To make it fair, shouldn't military recruiters have just as easy access to kids to private and home schoolers? Oh, well. Not a fair world, is it.

NEA doesn't have a position on this,as far as I could tell from their website. You'll just have to contact your congressman, then. Better yet, contact your Senator as well.