No Recruit Left Behind

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Young people who choose to serve in the armed services deserve our thanks. But all too often the choice to enlist isn’t rooted in patriotism. Rather, it’s a decision that’s made when a teenager has few other options. And it doesn’t help that military recruiters have infiltrated public schools in order to convince kids as young as 15 to join up instead of go to college.

David Goodman examines the intersection between military recruiting and public education in his piece, “A Few Good Kids?“. Goodman shows that the military doesn’t just rely upon persuasive recruiters. It’s got other tricks up its sleeve, like luring potential recruits to undercover Army websites and using secretly obtained personal information to target students. And it’s all completely sanctioned by No Child Left Behind.

Here’s an excerpt:

The military has long struggled to find more effective ways to reach potential enlistees; for every new GI it signed up last year, the Army spent $24,500 on recruitment. (In contrast, four-year colleges spend an average of $2,000 per incoming student.) Recruiters hit pay dirt in 2002, when then-Rep. (now Sen.) David Vitter (R-La.) slipped a provision into the No Child Left Behind Act that requires high schools to give recruiters the names and contact details of all juniors and seniors. Schools that fail to comply risk losing their NCLB funding.

Read the whole thing here.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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