Monday, June 27, 2005

Pentagon Is Hoping No Child Is Left Behind

It should come as no surprise that the military is finding it more difficult to recruit young people these days. I think it was just Friday that I blogged on the poll showing declining numbers of parents who would encourage their sons and daughters to enlist.

Part of that "wonderful BUSH law called the NO CHILD LET BEHIND ACT requires schools to provide information on students be given to the military. This information includes names, phone numbers, address, gender, ethnicity, Social Security numbers, academic achievement data and age for students as young as 16 along with e-mail addresses and other personal information. Hey, and you thought No Child Left Behind was an education Act not a military recruiters Act.

But wait, this gets better.... the Pentagon has hired a private marketing firm to keep files on millions of young people. WOW this deserves the Earnie Grahan Award for innovation in trashing privacy rights.

The Pentagon contract for this data is with BeNow - 500 Edgewater Drive Suite 525 Wakefield, MA 01880 781-246-0040.

It seems that there is an "opt-out" option - which few are told of. School districts have reportedly discussed providing such information to parents on cards - but have been pressure from federal education authorities who warned they'd pull funding from their districts. Which again begs to ask the question what exactly are we trying to prevent the "Child" from missing out on?

Two things are running through my head here...

1. Sixteen year olds do not need to be hounded by military recruiters.
2. Private vendors do NOT need involuntary access to social security numbers of anyone, much less minors.


Washington Post

Santa Cruz Sentinel

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