Thursday, January 6, 2011

Qualifying for military service . . .

I wonder how our high school graduates do on the military entrance exam where potential Army recruits need a passing score of 31 out of 99 questions. An NPR story was referenced in this edReformer blog post by Tom Vander Ark. The article refers to a study by the Education Trust that found nearly one fourth of high school graduates do not meet the minimum requirement; 31 out of 99 for the Army, 32 for the Marines, 35 for the Navy, and 45 for the Coast Guard.  Kind of interesting how this breaks out for each branch of the military.

The article gives an example of one of the questions that would suggest the assessment is not that rigorous.  I don't have experience or data to know if this example is one of the easier, harder, or typical questions so I won't make an assumption on the difficulty of the exam, but the passing standard is not that high.

"If three plus X equals six, what is the value of X?"

One positive insight from the study is the chart showing our state having one of the lower ineligibility rates at about 17%.   Since military service is a viable post high school opportunity for many young people meeting standard on the entry exam is critical and another measure that we need to be targeting.

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