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A National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy


By davidswanson - Posted on 05 December 2011

Please take some time to look through the new website of the new National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy: www.studentprivacy.org

I've just joined the board because I believe a great deal of good can be done.

The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy is a one-trick pony and that trick is the ASVAB Campaign. In short, we call for the universal selection of Option 8 for students taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB in high schools across the country, thereby prohibiting the automatic release of test data to military recruiting services.

Sounds pretty obscure and technical, I suppose.  But this is a relatively easy and proven model of denying the U.S. military what it needs in order to kill our young people by using them to kill others.  Namely, it denies the military the illegal right to violate the privacy of our young people in furthering its recruitment efforts.

The website provides a detailed discussion of the insidious nature of the military's testing regime and provides a way for activists like you to contribute to its demise. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program is a fraudulent, criminal DoD venture that deceives the American public and violates state laws designed to protect the privacy of youth.  We're going to bring it down with a disciplined, nuanced campaign that appeals to the most moderate of policymakers.

There's a tremendous amount of work to do.  For instance, 10,000 kids in 142 Arkansas high schools are required to take the ASVAB without parental consent, and all of their data is used to recruit them. "We've always done it that way and no one has ever complained," explained one school counselor.

Until now. 

We're organizing a national complaint and we're succeeding.  Across the country, the selection of ASVAB Option 8 has climbed from less than 1% in 2005 (our estimate) to 4.4% in 2007 to 8.6% in 2009 to 12.2% in 2010.  The new data we're expecting through our most recent FOIA will show a substantial increase in the percentage of students taking the test under Option 8, reflecting two states and several hundred more schools and school systems that have moved to protect student privacy.

The website contains the most recent test data so you can select your state and find high schools in your community that allow the Pentagon to test children.  You can also see how your state stacks up with the others, in terms of the numbers tested, those who are required to take the test, and the percentages of students who take the ASVAB under Option 8. 

In addition, the website describes the national campaign in detail. It provides links to information pertaining to ASVAB testing in Catholic schools, military documents relevant to the student testing program, and legislative resources.

Most importantly, the site provides a template letter for you to email to your state's superintendent of schools and school board members. Quite frequently, educational policy makers don't know the option exists to allow the testing while keeping results away from recruiters.  The letter sites the statistics released by USMEPCOM and calls for the universal selection of Option 8.  Contact us and we'll send you a letter already containing your state's statistics, etc. and the email addresses of officials. We're working to include that information on the site.

If you've read this far you probably see potential in this campaign.  Could you help us by contributing a few dollars? Support NCPSP  Also, could you forward this to others who you think might be in a position to financially support our work?  We want to raise funds to hire help. 

A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.   - Jack London

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