Allow Parents the Option to Protect Kids
from Military Recruiters in High Schools!
Parents should be given the means to exercise their right to opt out of sending their kids' names and contact information to military recruiters.
Please click here to send this email to your state legislators and governor.
High School Testing Data
Data released by the Department of Defense on August 1, 2016 shows the military administered the ASVAB to nearly 700,000 students in 12,000 high schools during the 2013-14 school year, a 2% increase over the prior year.
According to the data, 81% of the Juniors and Seniors who took the ASVAB during the 2013-2014 school year had their results sent to recruiters without their parents’ consent. School officials blocked the release of test results to recruiters for the remaining 19%. The data identifies 900 schools that require students to take the test, although the number is actually much larger, considering the large number of schools that tested several hundred students. Click here to see the massive database, arranged by states and names of high schools.
“Students do not leave their constitutional rights behind when they walk through the schoolhouse door. Students and parents in Connecticut deserve better protections for the sensitive information that the ASVAB test collects. We hope that this new data will inspire our state to take up meaningful changes to safeguard students’ private information.” - David McGuire, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut.
Questions or comments? firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Being Sent to High School
Principals in Texas:
Data released by the Department of Defense in early August shows the military administered the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, (ASVAB), its 3-hour enlistment exam, to more than 60,000 high school students in Texas during the 2013-14 school year. You may find your school in the database attached.
75% of the Juniors and Seniors who took the ASVAB during the 2013-2014 school year had their results sent to military recruiters without their parents’ consent. School officials blocked the release of test results to recruiters for the remaining students. ASVAB results are the only student information leaving Texas schools without providing for parental consent.
See Best Practices for ASVAB-CEP Administration published by the Rutgers School of Law regarding the importance of protecting student privacy while administering this exam.
Students are required to furnish detailed demographic information and their social security numbers before sitting for the exam.
"The military argues that ASVAB results are military records, not education records. It therefore claims that ASVAB results are not subject to privacy protections under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Furthermore, ASVAB testing does not consider whether parents have opted out of pupil information sharing under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)."
Recruiters market the ASVAB in high schools as a career exploration program without revealing its primary function as a recruitment tool.
Only school officials may select ASVAB release options. Selecting Release Option 8 (See Table 3-1 in Regulation 601-4) allows students to enjoy all of the benefits of the ASVAB Career Exploration Program. Options 1-6 allow the release of data for recruiting purposes while calling for varying amounts of time before results are released. Option 7 is predominately for 10th graders who may take the exam but whose results may not be used for enlistment purposes.
Recent changes in military regulations say that if an option isn’t selected, officials from the military entrance processing command will contact the school to determine the release option. If no option is received from the school, the test will be scored using Option 8 (no release).
If a student wishes to use his or her scores for enlistment purposes when a school selects Option 8, this is easily accomplished by meeting with a recruiter and signing a form to release ASVAB scores from a test taken at school. (they must be over 18 – otherwise, a parent’s signature is required)
Military representatives may attempt to convince you to allow student information to be used for recruiting without parents being in the loop.
Please protect student privacy by selecting ASVAB Release Option 8.
If you have the time, we’d appreciate your feedback:
1) Were you aware of the existence of ASVAB Release Options?
2) Is the information about your school (numbers tested and release option) in the database accurate?
3) Do you feel it is the school’s responsibility to select Option 8?
Diane Wood, Director,
Texas Coalition to Protect Student Privacy
Pat Elder, Director,
National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy
Military Exploits New Jersey
School Testing Program
Enlistment exam provides alternate
pathway to graduation
Nearly 50,000 New Jersey high school seniors are required to take an alternative end-of-year assessment because they either could not pass the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, (PARCC) test or opted out of taking it. School officials say “a significant number” of these students will now likely have to take either the College Board’s ACCUPLACER test or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, (ASVAB) as approved pathways to graduation. The costly ACCUPLACER is a product of the College Board, while the free-of-charge ASVAB is the military’s enlistment test that is given to 650,000 students in 14,000 schools across the country. Its primary purpose, according to military documents, is to procure leads for recruiters. More
Coalition Launches National Email Campaign
to keep ASVAB results from recruiters
We’ve launched a national campaign to send emails to thousands of guidance counselors across the country to advise them of the recent changes to the ASVAB Career Exploration Program and to urge them to take steps to protect the privacy of their students.
The recruiting command has re-written the rules (See story below) to reverse our amazing success in high schools across the country. They’ve launched a massive misinformation campaign directed at high school guidance counselors and other administrators in thousands of schools.
According to a recent story in Education Week, “Of the 650,000 tests last year, results from about 400,000 were provided to recruiters as leads.” A quarter million students (38.5%) had their privacy protected by school officials who contacted the recruiting command to demand that the results from the “career exploration program” not be used for recruiting purposes. That figure stood at a few thousand just a few years ago.
Concerned parents across the country can take credit for letting school administrators know it’s their duty to protect the privacy of school children.
The ASVAB Career Exploration Program represents a massive and egregious violation of civil liberties. The release of ASVAB results to recruiters circumvents the provisions of FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. ASVAB results are the only information leaving the nation’s schools about our kids without providing for parental consent.
Most guidance counselors in a position to protect student privacy will take steps to do so when they understand what’s at stake. They say they like the free career program because it gets kids thinking about what they’d like to do in the civilian world of work and it introduces them to various careers. When they’re shown military regulations saying the primary purpose of the program is to procure leads for recruiters, they’re more likely to tell the recruiting command to back off.
The Military Entrance Processing Command realizes one of its most important recruiting programs is seriously threatened so they’re dispatching recruiters and civilian personnel to thousands of the nation’s high schools to convince guidance counselors to allow the release of ASVAB test result to recruiters. They’re intent on reversing our successes over the last ten years. We cannot let this happen.
Our goal is to send emails to guidance counselors and principals in schools across the country where the test is administered. We’ll ask recipients to take steps to protect the privacy of their kids taking the test and we’ll ask them a few questions about the program. This may prove to be tremendously valuable.
We’ll respond immediately after contributions are received and we’ll keep contributors informed on the details of the campaign. Donations are not tax deductible.
ASVAB Game Changer
Military re-writes regulations to control damage
and create new recruiting opportunities
The recent changes made by the US Military Entrance Processing Command to Regulation 601-4, Personnel Procurement Student Testing Program, are very significant to the work we've been doing for years. With the revisions, If a release option isn’t selected by school officials, MEPS must now contact the school to determine the release option. If no option is received from the school, the test will be scored using Option 8. All MEPS scheduling communications with schools will include a listing of all release options. At first glance it seemed our activism had resulted in a victory, but upon closer examination, it’s apparent the military is adjusting its strategy to a changing landscape. More
President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
on December 10, 2015. (Ironically, Human Rights Day..)
New Law Changes Opt-Out
Minors must rely on parents to be removed from
H.S. lists being forwarded to military recruiters.
In 2015 Congress re-wrote section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) that provided for parents to “opt-out” of lists of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of students being forwarded by high schools to military recruiters. That legislation also allowed under-18 students to opt themselves out. When the law was passed in 2002 it contradicted FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA only provided rights to students over the age of 18. Schools were often confused. Some allowed minors to opt out by themselves and some did not.
Perhaps because of this discrepancy, Congress re-visited the legislation in 2015, calling the new law the Every Child Succeeds Act, (ESSA). Section 8025 of the new law removed the right of underage students to opt themselves out.
There has always been confusion from parents and activists across the country regarding how to remove a child’s information from lists being forwarded to the Pentagon. Both NCLB and ESSA require schools to “notify the parents of the students served by the agency of the option to make a request.” Nothing in either statute describes exactly how a school system is supposed to notify parents or identifies a particular form for accomplishing the task of opting out. Some systems were immediately proactive, produced an opt-out form, and made it available to parents. Others ignored the law.
The ESSA law says a parent of a secondary school student may submit a written request to the school that the student’s “name, address, and telephone listing” not be released to military recruiters. Upon receiving such request, the school is prohibited from releasing the information to recruiters. See Section 8025 of ESSA.
Colorado’s Weld County School District uses an opt-out form that dates back to 2008. The form is very simple and it works for the new legislation. It has parents check a box and sign a statement that says, “Do not disclose my child’s name, address, telephone number or directory information to any United State military recruiter.” The form also includes spaces for the child’s name and date. That’s it.
A simple email to the principal or the child’s guidance counselor stating a parent’s desire to withhold student information from recruiters is sufficient. We have also prepared a simple form for you to use here.
A plan by upstart SkoolLive LLC of Fallbrook, CA to install thousands of giant 6-foot I-phones with flashing, screaming, streaming interactive screens in high school hallways across the country will allow the military to collect student data by circumventing state and federal student privacy protections. More
Military Whitewash Campaign Kills Student Privacy Bill in Connecticut
A bill that would have protected the privacy of Connecticut's schoolchildren was defeated in May largely due to a misinformation campaign by the military recruiting command.
"School officials encourage students to take the test under the belief that the
purpose of the ASVAB is to assist students in exploring their various career options. We do not object to the administration of the ASVAB test; however, the distribution of the
enormous amount of data collected on the ASVAB to military recruiters is a serious infringement on the privacy rights of those students." More
"By not selecting Option 8 when it administers the ASVAB, the School District is violating not only
statutory rights, it is also violating constitutional rights."
L.A. Chapter, 2005.
Remember the 4th Amendment!
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
An illegal search occurs when an expectation of privacy that society considers reasonable is infringed by a governmental employee or by an agent of the government. More
Child Soldiers International is concerned by a range of American recruitment policies and practices that undermine the safeguards contained in article 3.3 of OPAC, in particular with regards to the voluntary nature of underage recruitment, the right to privacy of children and the requirement of prior consent of parents (or legal guardians). Child Soldiers International is also concerned by the extensive access to schools and students’ information by the US military, which suggests that the US government is pursuing the active recruitment of under-18s.
See discussion beginning on Page 10. More
Is ASVAB useful in predicting
success in college - or not?
The official ASVAB website says the test does a poor job as a predictor of success for students who desire to go to college. The DOD site admits that the ASVAB is an improper substitute for the ACT or SAT because "the ASVAB is designed to predict success in the military.”
From the website: "Why can’t I use my ACT or SAT score to enter the military? "The ASVAB is designed for a different purpose than the ACT and SAT. The ASVAB is designed to predict success in the military, while the ACT and SAT are designed to predict success in college. As a result, the content of the ASVAB is different from the content of the ACT and SAT, and different examinee populations take the ASVAB and ACT and SAT tests. Therefore, performance on the ACT or SAT is not necessarily a very good substitute for performance on the ASVAB, or vice versa."
In contrast to the above, examine this snippet fed to schools to promote the ASVAB to students, "Whether you’re planning on college, a technical school, or you’re just not sure yet, the ASVAB Career Exploration Program can provide you with important information about your skills, abilities and interests – and help put you on the right course for a satisfying career. See your counselor for more information."
Outgoing Recruiting Commander Admits ASVAB is Losing Popularity in the Nation's Schools
In one of his last public comments regarding ASVAB testing, departing US Army Recruiting Commander Maj. Gen. Allen Batschelet admitted the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is losing its popularity in the nation’s high schools. “We’re seeing an increasing trend with schools shutting us out from access or making access pretty restricted,” Batschelet said. “Schools are either choosing to not administer the ASVAB or withholding results from recruiters.”
“There are unintended consequences, Batschelet explained, “because we think it is indirectly sending the signal that service to country in the military is not an honorable profession or something to which you should aspire.”
Batschelet is drawing the wrong conclusions to explain the test’s unpopularity.
Sorry, general. It’s the privacy! School officials are discerning the malfeasance of the ASVAB testing program and parents feel they should be entitled to make decisions regarding the release of their children’s personal information, rather than the recruiting command!
Why work against military recruiting?
The Department of Defense is in desperate need of reform. There’s just not a lot of truly visionary thinking going on between those shaved temples in the minds of the men who run the recruiting command. American society has undergone revolutionary change in the last generation but the Pentagon is very, very slow to catch on and they’re deservedly suffering the consequence for their reactionary stances on the most pressing issues they face. They talk the talk but little changes.
The tide is turning and the recruiting command is seriously feeling the pinch. As long as the US Military Entrance Processing Command sees us and others who seek reform as threats and enemies of the state, there's little chance despicable conditions in the chain of command will improve. We are their brothers and sisters and we also love this country, although we view things very differently...
Consider the startling statistic that there have been more than 20,000 deserters in the Army alone during the period from 2006 to 2014. Desertion is so common the military often looks the other way. The Army has pursued just 1,900 cases of desertion since 2001, and most of these prosecutions have resulted in little more than a slap on the wrist.
Desertions are just one manifestation of a dysfunctional American military. The overwhelming majority of Americans who are ripe for military service aren’t interested or don’t qualify. The recruiting command is experiencing its greatest crisis since the end of the draft in 1973, although most Americans are oblivious.
The military's marketing pitch sounds pretty enticing but 15 percent of all enlistees don't make it through initial-entry training, and another 25 percent leave during their first permanent duty assignment in the operational Army. The means 40% of all Army enlistees never complete their first term. (2) The U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command is headed for a calamity on many fronts. More.
New Hampshire Passes
STATE ASVAB DATA
Click below to access your state’s ASVAB statistics.
The database includes the name and location of 11,700 schools administering the test, along with the most
current test date, the total of those who took the test, a breakdown by grade, and the release option chosen.
The data covers the 2012-2013 school year. We're waiting for the results of our most recent FOIA request.
Click Here to access your state’s ASVAB data.
of ASVAB Testing
This spreadsheet, with statistics from all 50 states and territories, was compiled using data released by the Freedom of Information Office of the Secretary of Defense in December of 2013.
The database was released after a protracted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. It is full of inaccuracies, omissions, and contradictions.
The American Public Health Association calls for cessation of ASVAB testing for recruiting purposes.
Nothing in the Recruiter's manual advises recruiters to reveal the risks their prospects face, neither the physical hazards on the battlefield nor the psychological trauma and its aftereffects." More
U.N. calls on US to stop mandatory military testing
In early 2013 The UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child called on the Obama Administration to "Ensure that schools, parents and pupils are made aware of the voluntary nature of the ASVAB before consenting to the participation into it."
See Concluding Observations IV 21 (c)
Recruiting & Testing in the Parochial Schools
Summer is the season for high school football practice. Two years ago, the players at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., got a different kind of coaching. For the first time, U.S. Army recruiters volunteered to run Central Catholics’ Rams through their strength and conditioning paces—helping them prepare for the annual “Holy War” match-up against arch-rival Jesuit High School.
According to an article in the Recruiter Journal (the monthly magazine for Army recruiting), the Army “footprint” for the big game included a Humvee parked outside the stadium, and a pre-kickoff event in which local recruiters placed “unit patch decals from various Army divisions” onto players’ helmets.
“Not once at practice did we talk about the Army,” said one of the recruiters. “It wasn’t about the Army, it was about how we can integrate ourselves into the community in a way the community will accept us and not feel like we are a threat.” In 2014, one of Central Catholic’s standout players was selected to participate in the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a national football showcase which has been described as both the “crown jewel” in Army marketing strategy and a “springboard to bolster recruiting efforts.” Each year, a different coach is selected to lead the squad of the nation’s top high school players, and in 2013 the squad was led by a man who by then was quite well known in Army recruiting circles: Central Catholic’s football coach, Steve Pyne.
In recent years, the Pentagon’s military recruiting capabilities have experienced a quantum leap—including unprecedented access to Christian schools.