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NCLB Outrages

NCLB and Army Recruiting: The Connection

Thanks to Peggy Daly-Masternak, committed homeschooler who cares deeply about public school kids put in peril, for leading me to this site.

by Susan Ohanian

The U. S. Army's March 2 Success website offers an on-line high school test prep and remediation program promising to prepare students to score higher on the SAT and the ACT. . . and oh, also on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery).

The site features a warm tribute from a h.s. career counselor in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

What follows is a slimy document, written by "African-American Field Marketing Representative, Vital Marketing, for the Jan. 2006 issue of Recruiter Journal. I had planned to type only a paragraph, but it got worse and worse so I typed the whole thing.

The Army's Gift to Public Schools: March 2 Success
by Richard Campbell
Field Marketing Representative, Vital Marketing*
[see below]

As the African-American Field Marketing Representative, I have the unique task of supporting local recruitment with African-American market expansion strategies. In the two years that I have been a FMR, one program outshines the others as the fail-safe program to recruit and make mission: March 2 Success.

By adjusting the communication strategy and positioning of the program, M2S enables individual recruiters to significantly affect several factors of the recruiting landscape, including prospecting, parents and COI development, educator relationships, activist groups, public relations, community support and, above all, contract quality. The opportunity lies in leveraging M2S for maximum benefit.

M2S is a free online standardized test-taking tutorial for students. The 30-hour plus course focuses on math and English: science was recently added. The overall purpose of the program is to help prospects with standardized tests.

Many recruiters share the resource with prospects who have failed the ASVAB. After receiving the M2S brochure from a recruiter and studying the M2S program, the prospect is more likely to pass the ASVAB and proceed to basic training.

High School students are judged by standardized tests. In fact, not only are the students tested, but the teachers, principals, schools, superintendents, districts and education departments are all judged by the standardized test results as well.

Teachers spend large parts of the year preparing their students for standardized tests. Parents pay $800to $1,200 per child to Princeton Review or Kaplan for SAT prep courses.

These factors provide the U. S. Army with a unique opportunity to overcome multiple challenges and obstacles.

Recruiters should present the M2S program to faculty prior to the semester or prior to the school's standardized testing period. . . . Recruiters should position the M2S resource as aid for teachers.

Teachers will recognize the materials as a teaching aid for standardized tests. Teachers also will incorporate the M2S program into their curriculum and share the program with their students. The teachers should also inform the parents of the program and encourage the school to make the computer lab available after school. . . .

Students who have taken the course will do better in school. II anticipate that students who increase their standardized tests scores will build confidence for future testing.

Recruiters, who may have been seen negatively, will now be viewed as a supportive advocate for education. This approach is also consistent with the new doctrine of a "counselor's" approach over a "direct recruitment" approach.

The school will recommend the program to more students, and a postive Army perception could permeat the faculty and student body. If the school's students do better on the standardized tests, additional resources will be awarded to the school from the city and state.

Community activist groups eventually will wonder: "Do we protest the very organization that is providing education today to our children?"

With more students having taken M2S, prospects are more likely to pass the ASVAB as a 1-III Alpha instead of a CAT IV.

Leveraging March 2 Success can help recruiters interact in a more receptive high school and community environment. Besides, who will the community and public school have to thank for the M2S resource? The U. S. Army.

I was actually in tears by the time I finished. Tears of very deep sorrow--and rage. They are tricking our youth--to death, deceiving parents, and undermining the role of a professional educator.

Another article, from the June 2007 Recruiter Journal, [pdf file] includes a sidebar on Prohibited Coaching Practices. It provides the rules and then advice on how to get around the rules, sort of in the Unfortunately/Unfortunately fashion of the classic picturebook.

Unfortunately, Army Regulation 601-222 is a Joint Service Regulation that Provides as follows:

2-2t. Prohibited coaching practices. MEPS, OPM and recruiting personnel may not use ASVAB tests, locally developed tests questions, test aids, or commercial study guides to familiarize applicants or potential applicants with the ASVAB.

Fortunately, Recruiters can get the schools to do the ASVAB test prep for them.
Although the Joint Service Regulation prohibits recruiting personnel recommending any type of activity that will assist in improvement of ASVAB scores, informing applicants about March2Success and similar Internet resources is not considered to come within that prohibition.

This is why the M2S is billed as prep for all standardized tests, particularly the SAT. Recruiters can only advise youth that commercial guides are available.

And lest you think the title of this article is just a teaser, here is the direct link between NCLB and U. S. Army Recruiting, the opening paragraph in an Aug. 2005 Recruiter Journal article.

Prospecting, Partnerships, High Schools and Colleges [pdf file]

by Ben Buckley, ConAP Project Director

"What do the No Child Left Behind Act, March 2 Success, rigorous high school curriculum, remedial programs at community colleges and ConAP have in common? Answer--prospecting and partnerships!

High schoolsl need to graduate students proficient in math, English and prepared for college. Colleges need to recruit, enroll, retain and graduate students. Anything recruiters do to help meet these needs makes them valued partners and increases prospecting opportunities.

The No Child Left Behind Act is being introduced to high schools. This means more emphasis on rigorous curriculums, exams, accountability and Adequate Yearly Progress. Recruiters have the perfect tool to help high schools and students succeed: March 2 Success, M2S. Introduce M2S to counselors, principals, English and math teachers, students and parents.

March 2 to Success
In the Asheville, N. C., Recruiting Company, recruiters have stamped http://www.march2success.com on the back of their business cards. Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Mayers, Asheville West Recruiting Station, as this to say: "I use March 2 Success to influence the influencers. I spoke at a teacher's luncheon and emphasized how students can use M2S to refresh math and English skills, prepare for SAT and ACT exams and improve test-taking skills. They need to know M2S is not just for the ASVAB. Parents are very receptive and use M2S to gauge their kid's progress at home. As for applicants, some have raised their test scores as much as 50 points after refreshing basic math and English skills. M2S has resulted in at least five enlistments in our station this quarter. My next step is to introduce M2S at community colleges that conduct remedial classes. M2S is a wonderful recruiting tool."

pros·pect (prÅs'pÄkt') Pronunciation Key

1. Something expected; a possibility.
2. prospects
1. Chances.
2. Financial expectations, especially of success.
3. A potential customer, client, or purchaser.
4. A candidate deemed likely to succeed.
5. The location or probable location of a mineral deposit.
6. An actual or probable mineral deposit.
7. The mineral yield obtained by working an ore.
1. A potential customer, client, or purchaser.
2. A candidate deemed likely to succeed.
3. The location or probable location of a mineral deposit.
4. An actual or probable mineral deposit.
5. The mineral yield obtained by working an ore.

from the ConAP website:

The Concurrent Admissions Program (ConAP) is a partnership between the Army Recruiting Command and more than 1,800 participating colleges. Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges assists with implementation and management, and serves as liaison between Army recruiters, ConAP colleges, Army education centers and the higher education community. ConAP goals are to increase enlistment of college-capable active-duty and reserve soldiers, increase the number of Army soldiers, veterans and reservists enrolled in college, and increase use of Montgomery GI Bill education benefits.

High Schools Make the U. S. Army Tactics Look Legitimate

Students visiting the Wilbur D. Mills University Studies High School in Little Rock, are immediately introduced to this opportunity to prepare for the future:

March 2 Success can help you prepare for the future. Whether you are:

*taking assessment examinations
*taking college entrance examinations
*taking a trade school entrance test
*applying for a job or
*taking a military entrance test.

You can enroll by clicking here and then by clicking the registration button.

Apparently, no further counseling is needed in Little Rock.

The St. Paul Public Schools offer a website, Gathering Information About Yourself & Sources for Help. Along with a link to NACAC WEB Resources for the College Bound, we find a button for March 2 Success, along with this explanation:

March 2 Success will assist any student in preparing for a standardized test whether for meeting state requirements, college entrance or military entrance. The Army is offering the course free and without obligation to show its commitment to the future of our young men and women. You will have to register to use this online learning tool but are not required to be contacted by a recruiter.

There is also a link to homework help from the St. Paul Public Library and a multilingual glossary, so the U. S. Army is just seen as one more resource to help the student. This is critical: The fact that the schools provide the portal the the U. S. Army reassures parents that this is on the up-and-up, but the student is on his own to make good decisions.

A Customized Lesson Plan

When a student registers on the March 2 Success site, he is promised a customized lesson plan, which the U. S. Army provides "as a public service": My classes:
  • High School Prep: Introduction
  • High School Prep: Language Arts

  • *English: Building Vocabulary Class
    *English: Grammar Class
    *English: Reading Comprehension Class
    *English: Structures of Writing Class
  • High School Prep: Mathematics

  • *Math: General Principles Class
    "Math: Problem Solving Class

    The student is informed that the "initial assessment is ued to provide customized lesson plan." Every page has a banner announcement at the top: No teacher required.

    Who knew that the U. S. Army was delivering curriculum to our public high schools?

    While the student is doing his lessons, he will find links to Army sites, starting with Go Army. The benefits page lists incentives, including cash bonuses up to $40,000.

    Cities Get Involved

    The City of Fort Wayne, Indiana website includes these resources:

    College Bound/Career Planning Sites

  • Twenty-first Century Scholars home page: http://www.in.gov/ssaci/programs/21st

  • Indiana Colleges: http://www.triptocollege.org/indiana_colleges/main.cfm

  • Trip to College www.triptocollege.org

  • Bridges: www.bridges.com
    Contact Tamara Jenkins at 260.467-1069 for password information.

  • Drive of Your Life: www.driveofyourlife.org

  • Know to how to go:www.knowhow2go.org

  • Frequently Asked Questions about going to college: http://www.triptocollege.org/real_answers/faqs.cfm

  • Test Preparation Sites

  • March 2 Success is a free, web-based program that makes high quality, test preparation instruction available to all. Designed by Peterson's and Educational Options and sponsored by the US Army, it is more inclusive than traditional college entrance test preparatory courses.

    To learn more, view the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. If you would like to judge for yourself the value of the actual March 2 Success instructional materials, you can Register Now and gain access to the complete March 2 Success curriculum.


  • The U. S. Army thanks the City of Fort Wayne.

    Preparing our youth for career paths in government affairs

    The vision of the Scotlandville Magnet High School Center of Excellence in East Baton Rouge Parish "is to prepare our youth for career paths in business and government affairs." The link to March 2 Success must qualify under "government affairs." The school lists its Zero Tolerance policy on the same page.

    The Zero Tolerance for Fighting Policy became effective on February 24, 1997. It's an anti-violence policy that makes your school a safer place for learning. About 95% of the students in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System do not use violence as a solution to solve problems. With your help, your school can be 100% fight-free.

    Apparently, Zero Tolerance doesn't meant the U. S. Army can't have your kids.

    Enter "March 2 Success" along with other keywords into a Google Search, and you find out all sorts of things:

    1. Support and implement the White House Imitative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans

    As an example of supporting and implementing Executive Order 13230, the following initiatives were implement:

  • Military District of Washington:

    Fort Belvoir, VA - Has a School partnership with Fred Lynn Middle School, Woodbridge, VA, which is predominately Hispanic.

    * Career Day for Fred Lynn Middle School, a cooperative effort between the HEPC, CECOM Night Vision Lab

    * HEPC members serve as Science Fair judges for the Fred Lynn Middle School.

    * The Fred Lynn Middle School and the Ft. Belvoir Elementary schools are invited to Special Emphasis Program observances

    * Hispanic Employment Program Committee and EEO Office hosted a Pinata party at Fort Belvoir Elementary School to educate students on âEl Cinco de Mayoâ.

    * EEO Specialist and Hispanic Employment Program Manager serve on the Fairfax County Council of Parent Teacher Association as the Chairperson of the Diversity Program.

    * The Hispanic Employment Program Manager also serves as the Hispanic representative on the Human Relations Advisory.

  • Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY â Adopted two High Schools, which are predominately Black and Hispanic students and have established a mentoring program.

    U.S. Army Pacific Command

  • Child and Youth Programs have had several initiatives which enhance the education of Hispanic Youth, they are listed below:

    o Four Presidential Scholarships ($1,000 each) were awarded to youth of Hispanic heritage during FY02.

    o Computer laboratories and homework centers are established in youth centers for educational support.

  • USARPAC youth programs celebrate the Hispanic culture by having family dinners, entertainment, and displays of Hispanic interest. These are well attended and families demonstrated much enthusiasm for such events by cooking, bringing in cultural items of interest and sharing their music and dance. USARPAC youth programs have conducted cooking classes, which include those foods of Hispanic origin.

  • * March 2 Success Program: March 2 Success is a web-based 30-hour course that provides a review of math and English skills and test-taking strategies designed for high school students and Army applicants. The purpose of this course is to assist high school students prepare for standardized tests, from state-mandated tests to the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). . . . Advantages to providing this instruction free to students include driving traffic to the Armyâs recruiting website (the March 2 Success website will provide links to goarmy.com), generating leads for recruiters to pursue (users of the test preparation software can opt to be contacted by a recruiter, but only if they so choose), and offering a tangible product to schools which seldom have access to free test preparation software, thus strengthening the relationship between the Army recruiter and school guidance counselors and other staff.

  • Don't Leave Out the Gifted

    The attitude of Prufrock's Gifted Education Blog seems to be:

    Unfortunately, The [NCLB] act has devastated gifted and talented programs across the county.

    Fortunately, The U. S. Army offers a free SAT and ACT test preparation site with no strings attached. . . March 2 Success. . . .Given the site's quality and that the content was developed by Kaplan, a similar course would cost between $500-$700.

    Real Homeland Security

    So the U. S. Department of Education taketh away, but the U. S. Army giveth.

    I urge concerned parents and educators to find out about March 2 Success in your state. The real march is a march to war, and we have the responsibility of safeguarding our youth. Real Homeland Security should start in our schools.

    *NOTE: Vital Marketing positions itself as

    "the first general market events and promotions agency that also specializes in the Multicultural and Youth marketplaces. . . .

    Understanding social habits is the first step in developing a truly effective marketing strategy.

    Lifestyle: Vital marketing leverages culture/lifestyle to our clients benefit. We properly align our client's [sic] alongside key cultural drivers that position them to their target in a relevant context. From music, language, film, fashion, sports and art, Vital identifies the proper fit for your brand.

    Services: Vital Marketing's service ideology infuses life into your brand! We accomplish this by placing your brand in the center of relevant conversations and interactions. We utilize an integrated communication practice that not not only allows consumers the opportunity to touch, feel and experience your brand but also delivers the impressions, responses and sales needed to legitimatize your investment.

    Vital Group clients Include:
    US Army
    Coors Light
    Tommy Hilfger
    Kobrand Corp
    Remy Martin
    Boost Mobile
    Posner Cosmetics

    — Susan Ohanian


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