ASVAB in the news
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
Please sign this White House petition calling on the Pentagon to be more transparent in the way it collects student information from American schools.
Dear President Obama,
We call on the Department of Defense to sign the Student Privacy Pledge.
In January, 2015 President Obama endorsed the Student Privacy Pledge, calling on companies to make a firm commitment to using student data only for educational purposes.
Signers of the Student Privacy Pledge have committed to use data only for authorized education purposes; to enforce strict limits on data retention; and to not behaviorally target advertising to students.
Although 118 companies in the business of providing services to students in America’s classrooms have signed the Pledge, the Department of Defense (DoD) is noticeably absent. The DoD operates several dozen programs in public and private school classrooms across the country, many that collect information on youth for recruiting purposes.
The DoD must join these honorable companies in signing the Pledge.
Student Privacy Pledge
In January, 2015 President Obama endorsed the Student Privacy Pledge, calling for companies to make a firm commitment to using student data only for educational purposes.
“We pioneered the Internet,” Obama said at the Federal Trade Commission. “But we also pioneered the Bill of Rights and a sense each of us as individuals have a sphere of privacy around us that should not be breached by our government but also by commercial interests.”
Although 118 companies in the business of providing services to students in America’s classrooms have signed the Student Privacy Pledge, the Department of Defense (DoD) is noticeably absent. The DoD operates several dozen programs in public and private school classrooms across the country, many that collect information on unsuspecting youth for recruiting purposes.
We call on the DoD and the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command to join these honorable American corporations in signing the Pledge.
The Pledge outlines several commitments regarding the collection and use of student personal information.
In October 2014, The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) launched the Student Privacy Pledge to safeguard student privacy. “We developed the Pledge to provide a way for school service providers to clearly explain to parents, students and teachers how data is being used to support student education”, explained FPF Executive Director Jules Polonetsky.
The Pledge applies to all student personal information whether or not it is part of an “educational record” as defined by federal law, and whether collected and controlled by a school or directly through student use of a mobile app or website assigned by their teacher. It also applies to school service providers whether or not they have a formal contract with the school.
Signers of the Student Privacy Pledge have committed to:
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB ) is a recruiting program that operates in 12,000 schools in a deceptive fashion to extract student data, often without parental knowledge or consent. Through this program the Pentagon collects Social Security numbers and detailed demographic information. It’s difficult to discern its military affiliation on its website.
March2Success is a school-based and school-promoted Army program that also gathers information on youth. The web-based service, which aids students in preparing for standardized tests, claims to be a free, no obligation tool.
The military purchases information gathered from students through high school yearbook and ring companies.
The military merges the directory information it collects on American children in the schools with from a myriad of websites, survey responses, college directories, retail sites, merchandise sites, and popular gaming sites. In addition, the military collects information that individuals voluntarily contribute on brochures or questionnaires and buys information from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Selective Service System, and the College Board, among other places. Mom and dad are out of the loop.
The DoD dumps all of this data into an Orwellian database known as the Joint Advertising, Market Research & Studies or JAMRS.
JAMRS manages a database subcontracted by Equifax of personal information of over 30 million United States citizens aged 16–25 for the purposes of military recruitment. Stored information includes, but is not limited to: name, address, email addresses, cell phone numbers, ethnicity, education, and employment information.
JAMRS covers every school and every child in the country. For the most part, the public is clueless. It’s time for the DoD to come clean. We call on the military to sign the Student Privacy Pledge.
New Hampshire Passes
ASVAB Option 8 Law
We're delighted to report that New Hampshire has become the third state to mandate the universal selection of ASVAB Release Option 8 for all public high school students who take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) signed the measure into law on July 14, 2014.
Requiring the test to be given under Release Option 8 prohibits the general release of 3 hours of test results, detailed demographic information, and social security numbers to military recruiting services without the consent of parents
Under the law, which immediately takes effect, schools that allow the military to proctor the test must notify the military representative, parents, and students that Option 8 has been selected. A student (over 18) or a student's parent or guardian may choose to release the student's personal information and ASVAB scores to military recruiters by individually submitting the required forms to the military services authorizing the release of the information.
Before the legislation, a child could attend a New Hampshire high school, take the military entrance exam proctored by Department of Defense employees and have all the information sent to military recruiters without parents knowing about it. ASVAB results were the only information leaving the state's schools about children without requiring parental consent.
The common-sense legislation sailed through House (18-0) and Senate (5-0) Committees before being passed by consent.
See the law here.
Pentagon Data on Student Testing Program Rife with Errors and Contradictions
Student Privacy Compromised by Massive Program
In late December, 2013 the Department of Defense released a database on the military's controversial Student Testing Program in 11,700 high schools across the country. An examination of the complex and contradictory dataset raises serious issues regarding student privacy and the integrity of the Student Testing Program in America's schools
The database was released after a protracted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Best Practices for ASVAB-CEP Administration
This new report from Rutgers Law School on the use of the military's aptitude test (the ASVAB) in high schools makes a compelling case that high school counselors have both legal and professional responsibilities to ensure that student test information is not automatically released to military recruiters. Download and share it widely, especially with your local school counselors, principals, and district officials.
The ASVAB is the military's entrance exam that is given to fresh recruits to determine their aptitude for various military occupations. The test is also used as a recruiting tool in 11,700 high schools across the country. The 4 hour test is used by military recruiting services to gain sensitive, personal information on more than 660,000 high school students across the country every year, the vast majority of whom are under the age of 18. Students typically are given the test at school without parental knowledge or consent. The school-based ASVAB Career Exploration Program is among the military's most effective recruiting tools.
- Read More
THE ASVAB CAMPAIGN
The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy has been working to educate and convince school officials Read More
The Colonel vs. The PTA
The debate in Maryland’s General Assembly over the passage of the Option 8 legislation is best understood by examining the testimony of Lt. Col. Christopher Beveridge, Commander, 12th Battalion, U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, the state’s top military recruiter, and Ms. Merry Eisner, President of the Maryland Parent Teacher Association. Lt. Col. Beveridge opposed the universal selection of Option 8, arguing that the military, not parents, should ultimately decide on the release of student information gathered through the administration of the ASVAB. Ms. Eisner testified that parents should make these decisions. The legislation carried. | Lt. Col Beveridge's Letter
Ms. Eisner's Letter
President Obama to Introduce Student Digital Privacy Act
During the last year or so about half of the states have enacted legislation aimed at protecting student privacy. Meanwhile, President Obama has called for a Student Digital Privacy Act saying “data collected on students in the classroom should only be used for educational purposes — to teach our children, not to market to our children.”
Most of the new laws and the president’s proposal have omitted the most egregious violation of student privacy in the nation. It is the Department of Defense’s administration of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to more than 650,000 children in 12,000 high schools and the retention of demographic information, social security numbers, and 3 hours of test results for recruiting purposes without parental consent.
The ASVAB is the military’s enlistment examination.
The DoD claims that parents do not have the right to provide consent to the release of their children’s information when they are given the test - even when they are required to take it.
Two states – Maryland and New Hampshire – have laws in place that require mom and dad to sign off before their children are tested and their personal information is delivered to the Pentagon. Hawaii’s Department of Education has a similar regulation in place. The California legislature passed a bill requiring parental consent for the DoD to test and retrieve data from minor-aged children that was ultimately vetoed. Last year, Connecticut came close to passing legislation protecting the privacy of children who take the ASVAB. An unlikely maneuver by the Veterans Affairs Committee in that Democrat-controlled state killed the measure at the last minute.
In addition to the ASVAB, the military operates several dozen programs in the schools, many which extract information for recruiting purposes.
We’d like to see President Obama’s legislation include tighter reins on the Pentagon’s data collection in the nation’s schools.
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.
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.
Click Here to access your state’s ASVAB data.
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 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." More