No Child Left Unrecruited

Pentagon uses NCLB, other sneaky means to get info on teens in high school
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2009 3:32 PM CDT
The image of Uncle Sam is seen behind shattered glass at the military recruitment center in New York's Times Square after a bomb blast.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The military is using a host of behind-the-scenes methods—including the No Child Left Behind Act—to gather information on high school students for recruitment, writes David Goodman in Mother Jones. A little-known provision in NCLB, for instance, requires schools that get funding to supply recruiters with info on all juniors and seniors. It "effectively transformed President George W. Bush's signature education bill into the most aggressive military recruitment tool since the draft."

And though students can opt out—with some difficulty—even more obscure data-mining operations are afoot to help the Pentagon amass “arguably the largest repository of 16- to 25-year-old youth data in the country.” It somewhat covertly maintains a website of test-taking tips that sends information to recruiters and administers an aptitude test in high schools toward the same end. To pull the info together—and get advice on cold-calling teens—the Pentagon employs the same research and marketing firm as Starbucks.