p2pnet view Kids & Kartels:- “American Schools Selling your child’s personal information – Each child is a dollar!”
That was the intro to a recent p2pnet story pointing out that under the US Family Educational Rights Privacy Act, public school districts “across the country are forced to give out your child’s personal information”.
Now “This year, thousands of high school students, mostly 11th-graders, will take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), a three-hour test that asks questions about reading, math, electronic and mechanical knowledge, as well as other subjects”, says the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy.
The results “are processed by the U.S. Department of Defense, as part of its ‘Career Explorations Program,’ and typically shared with both schools and military recruiters”, it says, continuing >>>
Although the military promotes the ASVAB as a voluntary “Career Exploration Program” administered to juniors and seniors, the US Army Recruiting Command’s School Recruiting Program Handbook, USAREC Pamphlet 350-13 says the primary purpose of the ASVAB is to provide military recruiters “with a source of leads of high school juniors and seniors qualified through the ASVAB for enlistment into the Active Army and Army Reserve.”
The homepage of the Pentagon website, www.asvabprogram.com does not identify what the acronym “ASVAB” stands for and fails to mention the primary purpose of the testing regime. In high schools throughout the country, the ASVAB is often promoted without revealing its tie-in to the military or its primary function as a recruitment tool.
But not in Maryland.
“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”, says the Associated Press, going on:
“The Maryland law, the first in the nation after similar California legislation was vetoed, was signed last month and bars schools from automatically releasing the information to military recruiters. Instead, students, and their parents if they are under 18, will have to decide whether to give the information to the military. The law takes effect in July. One other state, Hawaii, has a similar policy for its schools, but not a law.”
Some 650,000 US high school students took the exam in the 2008-2009 school year, “and the Department of Defense says scores for 92 percent of them were automatically sent to military recruiters”, says AP.
It has Toria Latnie, now living in Michigan, saying a counselor at her son’s Florida charter high school told seniors in late 2008 the military aptitude test was “a requirement for graduation”.
She “researched the exam online and refused to allow her son to take the test”, says the story, quoting her as declaring:
“I was angry, very angry. I felt lied to, deceived, like people were trying to go behind my back and give my child’s private information to the military.”
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