JROTC Being phased out in San Francisco Public SchoolsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

JROTC Being phased out in San Francisco Public Schools
 


26 October 2008 at 9:17:32 AM
salon

From the SF Examiner

“ JROTC IS ONE OF THE BEST RECRUITING DEVICES WE COULD HAVE” –Defense Secretary William Cohen. 

Almost two years ago, eight hundred students petitioned the SFUSD School Board to end JROTC and to use the $1,000,000 saved to expand and add to existing programs. The School Board voted to phase out JROTC in our schools, but before taking this vote, it listened to students, parents and community members on both sides. It recognized that many students seek leadership and community service opportunities, and that they want electives and after school activities which confer skills that translate into careers later. JROTC provides none of these.
 
This week a majority of Board members indicated that they support a new training program for students in emergency preparedness, CPR and disaster response called Student Emergency Response Volunteers (SERV). Unlike JROTC which provides no useful skills, this program would be able to train thousands of high school students to help their communities when the next big earthquake hits the City.
 
To understand JROTC better, we should look at the contract between the Pentagon and the School District. The contract states that JROTC provides a “course of military instruction”.  It does not talk about leadership, college or opportunities.  In fact, no JROTC classes meet California State academic standards and they are taught by instructors who don’t need even a college degree. By contract these instructors receive  about $20,000 in higher pay than credentialed teachers.   Military skills translate poorly into real-world job skills. Lower skills mean lower prospects for the poor and minority students who are the primary targets of JROTC.  Four years of military classes leave less room for the math, science, and foreign language classes, which do provide solid preparation for college and careers.   
 
San Franciscans overwhelmingly opposed recruitment in schools when they passed Proposition I in 2005, so JROTC supporters now deny that JROTC recruits children locally (as young as 14), while admitting that it does so elsewhere. JROTC directives and policy statements urge instructors to “facilitate contact with recruiters”, to “sell the Army story”, and to contact students as early as possible. “Seventeen is too late”, states one such directive.


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