"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The New School Year, NCLB, and Criminal Recruiting

Even though NCLB guaranteed military recruiters access to student data in order to ply their trade in the public schools, that was apparently not enough to help them make quota for the killing fields of Iraq. Even with the advantages of sales training and canvassing strategies that focus on the poorest and most desperate prospects (children) in the poorest and most desperate schools, recruiters continue to have difficulty in meeting their recruiting targets for more soldiers who, in turn, become more Baghdad IED targets.

A new GAO report released just in time for the new school year outlines the drastic increase in the number of recruiting violations. From WaPo:
. . . Allegations of wrongdoing by military recruitment personnel rose from 4,400 cases in fiscal 2004 to 6,600 cases in fiscal 2005, with substantiated cases increasing from 400 to almost 630, according to the report. The number of cases found to be criminal violations more than doubled, from 33 to 68.

The increase in violations was noted despite a significant decline in the number of people who joined the military. The number of new recruits fell from 250,000 in fiscal 2004 to 215,000 in fiscal 2005, even as recruiting efforts were significantly boosted, according to the GAO report.

The report noted that part of the increase in violations could be due to the Air Force's improved ability to track wrongdoing. But GAO officials concluded that because the Defense Department does not have an appropriate method of tracking violations across all the services, the total is likely to be higher.

"The department . . . is not in a sound position to assure Congress and the general public that it knows the full extent to which recruiter irregularities are occurring," the report says.. . .

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