ERIC Number: ED317866
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Myth #12: The Military Is Running out of Brainpower.
Literacy Beat, v3 n3 Jul-Aug 1989
The military has responded to recent demographic projections by upgrading its literacy standards: almost 95 percent of new recruits are high school graduates. In order to maintain its high recruitment standard, the military relies heavily on a standardized test, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Those who have not graduated from high school or who hold the General Educational Development certificate must have higher than average scores in order to enlist. However, researchers such as Sticht maintain that heavy reliance on literacy tests are unfair to some young people and troublesome for public policy. Sticht contends that these tests exclude many of the most needy young adults from obtaining the benefits of military service, although such tests are imperfect for determining suitability for the military. Despite recruits with higher literacy skills, remedial literacy programs in the military are increasing. This training emphasizes two strategies--contextual literacy skills (those developed through training in job-related skills) and greater use of technology. Many of the military's research findings and training programs are adaptable to the civilian workplace. (Two bar graphs are included, describing (1) the performance of white and black soldiers on job knowledge and performance tests and supervisor's ratings of proficiency and (2) the rate of completion of 36 months of service by potentially ineligible and eligible comparison groups in low and high complexity jobs. Addresses and telephone numbers for five sources of information on literacy and the military are listed.) (CML)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Basic Skills, Educational Policy, Enlisted Personnel, Functional Literacy, Government Role, Job Performance, Literacy Education, Military Training, Public Policy, Reading Research, Remedial Instruction, Technology Transfer, Test Bias
Education Writers Association, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, DC.; Education Writers Association, Washington, DC.
Note: For related documents, see CE 054 736-747.