By Pat Elder
The District of Columbia Public Schools, apparently responding to multiple requests by city residents and recent experiences in neighboring jurisdictions, has taken the extraordinary step of banning the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test from all public schools in Washington, DC.
In a letter dated February 29, 2008, Sara Wilson, of the Critical Response Team of the Office of the Chancellor wrote to DC activist John Judge, "After speaking with Kimberly Hood-Berry, the Deputy Chief for Academic Support Services and the Head Counselor, Merita Carter, they have decided to look for an alternative career exploration test to be used in place of ASVAB. While they are searching for the best alternative, counselors will be informed not to use ASVAB."
Last week, officials from neighboring Prince George's County, Maryland were outraged when they discovered the military had not informed school officials of their option to withhold private information, including social security numbers and ASVAB test results, from military recruiters. Federal regulations require the military to inform school districts of their right to withhold test information from recruiters.
The ASVAB is administered to 605,000 public school children every year. Although internal military documents identify the ASVAB as a recruiting device, it is marketed in schools as a "career exploration program".
This development has the potential to bring down the ASVAB across the country. That's how angry school officials are becoming.
This form, provided by military representatives to Prince George's County, MD School Officials, omits Option 8:
School officials in Montgomery, Maryland were also unaware of the option to withhold test results from military recruiting services. When they learned of Option 8 two years ago, Montgomery officials changed their policy by requiring parental permission to take the test and selecting Option 8 in schools across the sprawling district.
See USMEPCOM Regulation 601.4 Personnel Procurement Student Testing Program 25 July, 2005, pages 12 & 13 for an explanation of the various options available to public school systems:
RLCC: This will help demilitarize the nation and the world.
AfterDowningStreet.org - Impeach Bush and Cheney Now! on March 2, 2008, 8:12amby davidswanson from