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Inconsistency in US Education Impacts Military

Uncertainty can be challenging for any student, especially when it relates to their families and their education. For the nearly 2 million students who have parents and guardians in the military service, uncertainty is a given in their everyday lives.

Because of their family members’ deployments, military-connected students can attend between six and nine schools during their primary and secondary education careers, making a consistently high quality education difficult to attain.

Service members continuously express concern about the quality of their children’s educational experiences, which often impact whether they accept new assignments. Some even accept assignments and leave their families in locations where they know quality education is available. This challenge has become an issue of retention and readiness for America’s military.

The Department of Defense recognizes the challenges military-connected students and their families face in finding consistently high quality education opportunities. As a result, the DoD has partnered with the National Math and Science Initiative to bring its proven College Readiness Program to some 215 high schools serving high proportions of military-connected students. With funding from the DoD and corporate donors, the program has dramatically increased enrollment in Advanced Placement® courses at these and other schools and has increased the number of qualifying scores that students earn on AP exams in math, science and English. Qualifying scores (3 or higher on a 5-point scale) illustrate mastery of college-level skills and knowledge and qualify students for course credit at most U.S. colleges and universities.

Increasing access and achievement in rigorous and high quality education – and helping ensure college and career readiness – is a true and lasting way to honor our military service members’ sacrifices. At NMSI, we recognize that all students, including those connected to service members, deserve access to consistent, quality education. We are privileged to serve them.

Marcus Lingenfelter is the senior vice president of state for federal programs for the National Math and Science Initiative