Common Core and Military-Connected Children

Teacher at Maxwell AFB Elementary/Middle School (Air Force photo/Kelly Deichert)
Teacher at Maxwell AFB Elementary/Middle School
(Air Force photo/Kelly Deichert)

In a new Pioneer Institute study, Support & Defend: The K-12 Education of Military-Connected Children, education analyst and retired career Air Force officer Bruce Wykes presents an in-depth analysis of how the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) provides high-quality education to more than 84,000 eligible Military-Connected Children in more than 190 schools around the world and scores above the national averages on nearly all standardized assessments. Wykes also examines efforts to expand that success to Military-Connected Children attending non-DoDEA schools.

From their press release:

Despite the clear successes of Military-Connected Children, some policy analysts claim that Common Core standards may help Military Families. Wykes argues otherwise, saying that available evidence does not support the Common Core given that Military Families tend to have children while in service, but transition from active duty before their children even reach middle or high school.

Demographic data on Military-Connected Children reveals that “41 to 42 percent of active duty Military-Connected Children are preschool and only 16 percent are high school. These numbers are also supported by the Military Child Education Coalition, which reported that in 2012 more than half of the active duty Military-Connected Children were seven years old or younger.” In short, Common Core’s claims to “college and career readiness” are of limited utility to this student population.

Additionally, Common Core is also contrary to the rising trend of homeschooling among Military Families, which may be in part due to concerns over the mismanaged implementation of Common Core. Typically, homeschooling has been far more common among Military Families than their civilian counterparts. It’s also noteworthy that 20 percent of active military personnel are located in Texas and Virginia, states that did not adopt Common Core.

Instead, other initiatives such as the Interstate Compact on the Education of Military Children, the creation of school liaison officers, support for military homeschooling families, and the use of targeted grants are better suited to assist Military Families and military leaders while addressing the challenges of K-12 education for Military-Connected Children.

You can read the 6o-page study here or below: