ASVAB in the News
Personality Test Helps Insure Civilians
are Compatible with Army Life
May 15, 2015 www.army.mil The Army continues to use the Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System, or TAPAS - a test first implemented in 2009 to measure attitudes and behaviors of civilians while also helping to determine whether they are a good fit for life in the Army. More.
New Jersey revises
high school graduation assessments
Pass the ASVAB to Graduate
Press of Atlantic City
December 8, 2014
The New Jersey State Department of Education has updated the list of various assessments that current high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors will be able to use to meet state graduation requirements during the phase-in period for new state tests. Students must score a 31 on the ASVAB (AFQT) to graduate.
Group wants military testing info on
Connecticut students kept private
New Haven Register
May 3, 2014
The article has it wrong on several points, ironically, the same points that have been mischaracterized by several mainstream news outlets, including the Washington Post and National Public Radio.
How the Military
Collects Data on
Millions of High School Students
April 27, 2014
In letter to Education Commissioner dated March 3, 2014 ACLU of Florida warns that SSNs, personally-identifying information of thousands of students being transmitted without parental consent; reforms called for. More
Missouri Program Requires High School
Students To Take Military Enlistment Test
February 13, 2014
The program fails to disclose that schools may withhold results from military recruiters. While many states are taking steps to strengthen privacy protections of children, Missouri is moving in the wrong direction.
Minnesota Law Substitutes Military Test for Graduation Requirement
February 2, 2014
In Minnesota, radical changes to graduation testing requirements make it easier for high school students' personal information to be sent
to military recruiters without parental consent. There are no privacy protections built into Minnesota's new law.
Center on Education Policy (CEP) 2013 Survey on State Use of ASVAB
According to a Center on Education Policy (CEP) survey of state directors of career and technical education or their designees, 32 states or their districts used the ASVAB in school year 2012-13 to assess employability and/or applied academic skills to help determine students’ career readiness.
The comprehensive survey makes no mention of the use of the ASVAB as a recruiting device
The American Public Health Association calls for end to military recruiting in schools, cites ASVAB
"Cessation of Military Recruiting in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools" Policy Date: 10/30/2012
"Recruiters “volunteer” to teach gym classes, sponsor climbing walls, bring large armored vehicles to campuses to create a sensation, and infuse counseling offices with the ASVAB—the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test—to assist young people in making career choices (with scores forwarded to recruiters). 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
Why schools do not release ASVAB scores to military recruiters - A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College by Gregory Y Humble. Major, US Army
"An increasing number of schools are not releasing ASVAB scores to military recruiters. In 2004, 3.8 percent of test scores were not released, compared to 13.91 percent in 2011. The decision to release scores is made by school officials. Policies are being made at the school district level, and at the state level to ensure that schools do not release scores to military recruiters. Students, parents, and patrons in school districts are primarily concerned with the issue of student privacy when scores are released. Aided by advocacy organizations, local school districts, and state legislatures have approved policies, and passed laws that restrict schools from releasing ASVAB scores to military recruiters."
Rutgers School of Law - Best Practices for ASVAB-CEP Administration: A Guide to Professional Guidance Counselors
This report from the Rutgers School of Law on the use of 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.
Mississippi State Board Policy 3804 Approved October 3, 2013
This policy, if enacted, will allow students who score a 36 on the ASVAB to receive a high school diploma. Mississippi's State Board of Education will vote on this proposal in January, 2014.
North Dakota Governor’s Proclamation regarding ASVAB testing
Governors in a dozen states issue proclamations urging students to participate in the ASVAB-CEP program, like this one in North Dakota. privacy concerns have never been addressed.
Concordance Table Widely Distributed
This "Concordance Table for ASVAB, AFQT/ACT/SAT." is published by USMEPCOM and is widely distributed to US high schools.
According to the Concordance Table a 31 on the ASVAB equates to a 690 combined score on the SAT verbal and math sections. A 1600 on the two sections is considered a perfect score. In 2006, 313 students scored 690 or below on the SAT out of 1,376,745 test takers, meaning that a 690 falls below the 1% threshold. An AFQT score of 50, the mean score, correlates to an SAT combined Verbal and Math score of 810, an abysmally low score. How do the scores of 31 and 50 translate to grade level using the stringent Common Core Curriculum? Our guess is 5th and 9th grade respectively.
New Jersey lowers high school graduation requirements so students can join the Army
Most of New Jersey's high school students must pass the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) to graduate. The test is used to determine student achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics. If students can't pass this test, New Jersey's Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) is an alternative test that the state claims provides students with the opportunity to exhibit their understanding and mastery of the HSPA skills.
Every year thousands of New Jersey students who have completed the required courses necessary to graduate cannot pass the traditional HSPA. Last year the state began offering several options to students who were unable to pass the HSPA.
New Jersey High School Diplomas will be awarded to students who score 31 on the ASVAB. More
Kentucky opens student files to military recruiters
In the Bluegrass State "All student academic records shall be made available upon request to any agency of the federal or state government for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility for military service."
USMEPCOM Officials in Kentucky weren't satisfied that ESEA's Sec 9528(a) limited access to name, address, and phone number so they called on their pals in the legislature to pass a law to open the file cabinets at the local high school.
Study Suggests Women Score Low on Tech Aptitude Tests for Lack of Interest - University of Iowa
A study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science joins the chorus of leading academics to question the validity of the ASVAB as a predictor of career aptitudes, but the study also provides a compelling argument that the ASVAB has a built-in bias against women. Women perform poorly on a high number of ASVAB test items pertaining to mechanical skills because the questions measure a person's past experience, not their actual potential. Thus, women may be advised against choosing certain occupations because of socially-determined factors rather than a true assessment of their ability to learn and do well in them. More
Another author questions the validity of the ASVAB as a career predictor. = Bloomberg Business Week
"If one starts out in a particular field in the military based on what their ASVAB scores indicate they can do, but after doing that for several years it is clearly not where the individual’s talents and abilities would be best put to use, it is next to impossible to change direction." More
San Diego schools restrict military recruiters - CNS
This military town took steps to protect students from aggressive recruiting practices by military recruiters. The regulations include the selection of ASVAB Option 8. More
US pressed on military exam for high school students
Southern California Public Radio, Los Angeles
July 9, 2012
The U.N. has asked the United States government to provide information on the distribution of details obtained via the ASVAB by November this year.
- Read More
High-stakes testing gets teachers talking
Texas loves mandatory testing but teachers are frustrated. "We have benchmarks, TELPAS, MSTAR, PSAT, ASVAB, TAKS retest ... STAAR, STAAR-M, STAAR-Alt, STAAR-L, and assorted others that I'm sure I am forgetting or would like to forget."- Read More
Maryland 1st to bar schools releasing tests to military
Kathleen Miller, the A.P. reporter, accurately reported on this issue.
"A first-of-its-kind law bars public high schools in Maryland from automatically sending student scores on a widely used military aptitude test to recruiters, a practice that critics say was giving the armed forces backdoor access to young people without their parents' consent." - Read More
Looping Parents In On Armed Services Test
National Public Radio
"Whether or not a school official seeks students' or parents' or guardians' permission is entirely up to that school, and we don't have anything to say about that at all," Gilroy says.
This statement is terribly misleading. Gilroy, the Pentagon's top recruiter, realizes the DoD administers the test in schools. - Read More
Md. law limits military recruitment of high school students - Washington Post
The Washington Post printed a correction to this article on Maryland’s new ASVAB law. The article incorrectly stated that students could individually withhold ASVAB test results from military recruiters. However, even the correction is misleading. It notes that parents can ask schools to withhold info (Section 9528 No Child Left Behind Act) and strongly implies that that might include ASVAB results and accompanying information. It says students don't have a "direct option" -- they also don't have an indirect option of their parents protecting the info on an opt-out form absent the new law. Correction to This Article - "This article about a new law in Maryland incorrectly said that students can opt to withhold from military recruiters information from a military and vocational exam. Although parents can separately ask that schools withhold their child's name, address and phone number from military recruiters, students do not have a direct option on the test to withhold information from it, which includes, among other things, their Social Security numbers and test results. The new law requires schools to withhold the test information from recruiters." - Read More
Military aptitude tests "everything"
Altoona Mirror, Altoona, PA
The article repeats misinformation commonly spread by recruiters, "Earlier in the school year, parents are given the option to remove their students' names from any military lists. If a student's name isn't on that list, the student can sign up for the test without their parents' permission or consent."
Parents are not given the right to remove their students' names from any military lists. The law the article is referring to is Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act, Section 9528(a) and it only covers lists being forwarded to recruiters that contain names, addresses, and phone numbers of children. The No Child Left Behind Act does not cover the release of information gathered through the administration of the ASVAB test. - Read More
ASVAB test results may now be withheld from recruiters
Tampa Military Headlines Examiner
More military misinformation. The author of this piece, Margaret Barczak, has it wrong. She writes, "The ASVAB test is exempt from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records. However, students or parents can opt out of the ASVAB reporting provision, and schools receiving funding under the NCLB are instructed to inform parents that they have this option."
The military claims the ASVAB is exempt from FERPA. We don't think so. More importantly, and contrary to the article, students and parents may not opt out of the ASVAB reporting provision. The ASVAB program circumvents NCLB Section 9528 and military regulations make it very clear that schools, not students or parents, select release options. Otherwise, Maryland's legal establishment would not have moved ahead with this legislation. - Read More
Maryland enacts law to bar the automatic release of student scores on aptitude test to military recruiters
Legal Clips - National School Boards Association
The article is a fair representation of the A.P. piece, however, the lengthy Editor's Note is somewhat problematic because it is only distantly related to the ASVAB issue and strikes an alarmist tone. The Pittsburgh case cited in the Editor's Note is an extremely rare example. The reality throughout the country is that military recruiters have unprecedented access to high school children and typically enjoy greater access than that of college recruiters. The focus of the Maryland law is that parents, not the Pentagon, should have control of student information. - Read More
Controversy brewing over military exam at SHS
Suwannee Democrat (FL)
The entire Junior class in a Florida high school are forced to take the ASVAB without parental knowledge and all the results, including sensitive personal data and social secutiry numbers, are forwarded to military recruiters. - Read More
Military test provokes ire of some parents
Suwannee Democrat (FL)
December 1, 2009
A follow up article is inaccurate on several important points and misrepresents federal law designed to protect student privacy. Read the article and see our rebuttal. - Read More | Read Commentary
Recruiter uses slur at high school
DHS students offended by comment
by Chuck Slothower
Durango Herald News (CO)
Several students reported hearing an Army recruiter refer to students as "f*ing faggots" while administering the ASVAB to 500 students during a mandatory testing session in a Colorado public high school. The resulting uproar focuses on the anti-gay slur, not the forced testing of 500. - Read More
Growing Hesitancy Over a Military Test
August 7, 2008
by Dan Hardy and Dylan Purcell
Groundbreaking article by the Philadelphia Inquirer introduces the ASVAB testing controversy to a national audience. The second link features an interactive database released by the Pentagon of 11,900 high schools across the country. - Read More
North Bend schools limit military access to test scores
North Bend, Oregon
By Jessica Musicar
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The following story documents how a small school system in Oregon came to select ASVAB Option 8, disallowing the use of the ASVAB as a recruiting tool. The same decision that has been made by hundreds of school systems across the country. - Read More
A Few Good Kids?
Mother Jones Magazine
by David Goodman
This article by David Goodman of Mother Jones Magazine establishes the link between ASVAB testing and the Joint Advertising Market Research & Studies (JAMRS) database, run by the Pentagon. Students who take the ASVAB are required to divulge their Social Security number, ethnicity, and career interests—all of which is then logged into the JAMRS database. The database, run by the credit reporting giant Equifax, holds 34 million names and is arguably the largest repository of 16-25-year-old youth data in the country. -
The Military's Stealth Test
In These Times
by Megan Tady
An excellent article published in the newsmagazine "In These Times" documents how school districts are beginning to keep the results of the ASVAB out of the hands of military recruiters - Read More
Opting for Privacy
From the National Education Association"Schools can opt to keep students' personal information private, which prevents that information from being shared with military recruiters."
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.