Opinion
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

U.S. Military’s Career-Aptitude Testing Raises Student-Privacy Concerns

April 12, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I appreciated your recent article on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB (“Military Eyes Wider Access for Career-Aptitude Test Under ESSA”). As the only school testing program exempt from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the armed-services test battery deserves much greater scrutiny than it has been getting thus far.

I would like to clarify, however, one point. Citing Pentagon data, the article notes that taking the ASVAB was mandatory for students in approximately 1,000 schools during the 2012-13 school year. Shannon Salyer, the national program manager for the ASVAB Career Exploration Program under the U.S. Department of Defense, claims that the testing program is “always voluntary,” and that students may be required to sit for this testing, but are not forced to complete it. This is a distinction without a difference. Three hours of a student’s day are still consumed by a military-recruiting exercise, and the student has no choice in the matter.

It’s also important to remember that military recruiters are ordered to try to get as many schools as possible to require ASVAB testing. For example, the U.S. Navy’s recruiting manual offers this bit of advice: “Request the school make [ASVAB] testing mandatory or at least publicize it sufficiently in advance to maximize participation.” Similar guidance can be found in the U.S. Army trade magazine Recruiter Journal.

Scores of high schools in the Lone Star State continue to practice mandatory ASVAB testing. But in Austin, the state capital, the school board passed a policy last fall barring high schools from automatically sending ASVAB scores to recruiters.

Hopefully, more communities will follow Texas’ lead and make sensible policy changes to better protect student privacy.

Diane Wood

Texas Coalition to Protect Student Privacy

Fort Worth, Texas

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 13, 2016 edition of Education Week as U.S. Military’s Career-Aptitude Testing Raises Student-Privacy Concerns

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
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
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

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

College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Class of COVID: 2021's Graduates Are Struggling More and Feeling the Stress
COVID-19 disrupted the class of 2020’s senior year. A year later, the transition to college has in some ways gotten worse.
7 min read
Conceptual illustration of young adults in limbo
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Helping Students Plan How to Pay for College Is More Important Than Ever: Schools Can Help
Fewer and fewer high school graduates have applied for federal financial aid for college since the pandemic hit.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration of young person sitting on top of a financial trend line.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision<br/>
College & Workforce Readiness Louisiana Student Finds Stability Amid Tumultuous Freshman Year
Logan Balfantz arrived at the University of Notre Dame last fall considering himself one of the lucky graduates in 2020.
3 min read
Logan Balfantz
Logan Balfantz
Courtesy of Sarah Kubinski
College & Workforce Readiness Layoffs, COVID, Spotty Internet: A Fla. Student Persists in College
Bouts with COVID-19 were just the latest challenges to face class of 2020 graduate Magdalena Estiverne and her family.
2 min read
Magdalina Estiverne poses for a portrait at her home in Orlando, Fla., on October 2, 2020. Estiverne graduated from high school in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Orlando, Fla., student Magdalena Estiverne poses for a portrait in 2020, four months after her high school graduation.
Eve Edelheit for Education Week