Opinion
Families & the Community Letter to the Editor

Students’ Privacy Extends to Military-Recruitment Tools

December 08, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In New York state, a network of parents and other activists led by the New York City-based nonprofit Class Size Matters were instrumental in quashing a plan by the now-closed education technology vendor inBloom to warehouse student information. Leonie Haimson, the founder and executive director of Class Size Matters, said at the time that inBloom was “only the tip of the iceberg.” How right she was.

Almost two years later, another third party in the Empire State continues to run roughshod over the guarantees of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. I am talking, of course, about the United States military. During the 2012-13 school year, more than 13,000 New York state students sat for the three-hour-long Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB.

In public, the test is marketed to schools as a “vocational guidance" tool, one way the military can give back to the community. In military training manuals and trade journals, however, it is discussed as a recruitment tool. Worse still, students and parents are not always told that the test was designed by and for the military, and that the data gathered are being collected and used by the military.

It’s time for the same educators and parents who ran inBloom out of town to tell the New York state board of regents to take action on this issue. By issuing an advisory memo to schools statewide, the regents can encourage guidance counselors to either substitute the ASVAB for some other kind of aptitude test or at least better protect student privacy. Students taking the ASVAB should know that they need to indicate on their tests that they don’t want the results released to military recruiters.

Student privacy matters, whether it’s inBloom or ASVAB.

Barbara Harris

Director

New York Coalition to Protect Student Privacy

New York, N.Y.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the December 09, 2015 edition of Education Week as Students’ Privacy Extends to Military-Recruitment Tools

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Families & the Community Leader To Learn From Absenteeism Was a Big Problem in This District. A New Strategy Is Getting Results
Sharon Bradley remembers how it felt to miss school for reasons outside her control.
11 min read
Sharon Bradley, director of student, family and community services for Plano ISD, listens to members of the Character, Attendance, and Restorative Education (CARE) team discuss their current projects in Plano, Texas, on Dec. 14, 2023. The CARE department focuses on equipping students and adults with the tools, strategies, and resources that support a safe, engaging, and collaborative learning environment through character education, attendance recovery, and restorative practices.
Sharon Bradley, the director of student, family, and community services for the Plano, Texas, school district listens to staff members on a special team that focuses on helping students and their families address a range of challenges that may get in the way of regular attendance and engagement at school.
Shelby Tauber for Education Week
Families & the Community Leader To Learn From A Former Teacher Turns Classroom Prowess Into Partnerships With Families
Ana Pasarella maximizes her community's assets to put students first.
8 min read
Ana Pasarella, the director of family and community engagement for Alvin ISD, oversees an activity as Micaela Leon, 3, a student in Alvin ISD’s READy Program, draws on a piece of paper on Alvin ISD’s STEM bus in Manvel, Texas, on Dec. 8, 2023.
Ana Pasarella, the director of family and community engagement for the Alvin Independent school district in Texas, oversees an activity as Micaela Leon, 3, a student in the district's READy Program, draws on a piece of paper inside the district's STEM bus in Manvel, Texas.
Callaghan O’Hare for Education Week
Families & the Community Parents Trust School Librarians to Select Books, But There's a Catch
A new survey shows what parents think of school libraries and librarians following efforts throughout the country to remove books.
5 min read
Books sit in a cart and on shelves in an elementary school library in suburban Atlanta on Aug. 18, 2023.
Books sit in a cart and on shelves in an elementary school library in suburban Atlanta on Aug. 18, 2023.
Hakim Wright Sr./AP
Families & the Community A Side Effect of Anti-CRT Campaigns? Reduced Trust in Local Schools
The calls to ban CRT had little evidence behind them, but they were powerful enough to change people's perceptions of their local schools.
6 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis publicly signs HB7, "individual freedom," also dubbed the "stop woke" bill during a news conference at Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School in Hialeah Gardens, Fla., on Friday, April 22, 2022.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs HB7, the Individual Freedom Act, also dubbed the Stop WOKE Act, during a news conference at Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School in Hialeah Gardens, Fla., on Friday, April 22, 2022. The bill is intended to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 schools. New research finds that the public calls for bans on the instruction of critical race theory diminished the general public's trust in local schools and teachers.
Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP