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Report Identifies Shortage of Educational Opportunities for Military-Connected Students

NMSI is meeting the challenge
High-quality educational programs that produce measurable student outcomes and are supported by rigorous and consistent content standards should be available to every military-connected student, National Math and Science Initiative representative Marcus Lingenfelter told a crowd gathered at the Washington, D.C. National Press Club on January 24.
“This report provides a roadmap for how state and military leaders can help children of military families succeed. We must partner directly with installation commanders, school leaders and community stakeholders to better prepare military-connected students for the demands of college and career,” Lingenfelter said.
At the National Press Club event officials from the Collaborative for Student Success and the Lexington Institute released a new report on the challenges and opportunities of effectively serving military-connected students. The key findings in the report are:
•A shortage of high-quality educational options for military-connected families and students often restricts educational opportunities, hinders academic achievement and can reduce a family’s satisfaction with a military career.
•The underlying causes driving the quality of educational experiences include uneven ability to participate in available educational options; inconsistent content and achievement standards from state to state; limited support for military connected students; and less effective state and school district policies to identify and support military-connected families and students.
•Implementing the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, a state-by-state effort to examine and recommend policies and practices affecting military-connected students, can be an effective tool for improving educational experiences.
“As a nation, we have a lot of work to do to provide all military-connected students with the best possible educational opportunities and outcomes, Lingenfelter said. “At NMSI, addressing this need is a critical part of our mission.”
Through its College Readiness Program for Military Families, NMSI is broadening access to rigorous AP coursework in math, science, and English and equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to graduate from high school ready for college and the STEM-intensive careers of the 21st century. Moreover, the program is producing significant positive student outcomes. After just one year of the program, students in NMSI’s military-connected partner schools show a 85 percent increase in qualifying AP math, science, and English scores — more than 11 times the national average. The program has grown from just four military-connected schools in 2010 to more than 150 schools today, including Waynesville and Knob Noster High Schools, both featured in the new report.
Besides Lingenfelter, other panelists at the Press Club event were Don Soifer, Lexington Institute; Christi Ham, Military Families for High Standards; and Jim Cowen, Collaborative for Student Success.
Read the complete Lexington Institute report “Better Serving Those Who Serve: Improving the Educational Opportunities of Military-Connected Students."