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

Monday, October 30, 2006

NCLB, Military Recruiters, and Yearbook Photos

When Lexie Welch and Sarah Ybarra found out they could opt out of the NCLB-mandated database that recruiters depend upon to freshen the supply of IED fodder for the roadsides of Iraq, they did not know that opting out would also mean that their names would be removed from yearbooks, honor rolls, and newspapers.

Now these brave young women are producing their own documentary on the subject, while they develop a strategy to get the policy changed in their hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. Here is clip from the story that carries the above photo:

Buried in the 670 pages of the federal No Child Left Behind law was a requirement that high schools provide lists of students’ names, telephone numbers and addresses to military recruiters.

Students can get off the list if they or their parents notify the school district in writing that they want to opt out.

But there’s a catch. Those who opt off the list find themselves also excluded from the lists provided to college and job recruiters. And opting out also means a student’s name cannot be published in yearbooks, honor rolls or newspapers.

Now, two Lawrence High School students are out to change that policy. They want students to be able to opt off the military’s list without being excluded from the other benefits of student life.

“It’s ‘all or nothing,’ and we don’t think that’s right,” said senior Lexie Welch, who, with junior Sarah Ybarra, is working to change the policy.


  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Hi! This is Sarah Y, thanks for posting our story!! (The movie is finished by the way.)

  2. Anonymous10:59 PM

    hi, i don't think the US government has anything to do with your names being left out of your yearbooks, honor rolls, etc., Your school could easily keep a list of students that turned in opt-out forms and put that into their database. It simply takes a little bit of effort and intelligence. I also wasn't aware that everyone that went to Iraq ended up as "IED fodder for the roadsides of Iraq"! That's an interesting point of view to have about the men and women serving our country. What's next picketing at the airports as our soliders fly in from war! Let's all revert back to vietnam!! have a great one--Distraught future educator