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ERIC Number: ED559815
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 243
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-2411-6
Something Else for the Rest of 'Em? Military Recruiting, School Mission and Postsecondary Transitions in Public High Schools
Dibner, Kenne Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
Military recruiting is thoroughly integrated in American public schools. Federal legislation mandates that every public school receiving federal funding open its doors to military recruiters in the same capacity as any postsecondary university or job organization, lest that school risk losing all federal funds. This investigation examines the military recruiting policy at work in the large, diversified contexts of the New York City Public Schools. Through interviews with 56 students, administrators and teachers at five separate school sites combined with school-based documentation of school mission, this study pursues insight into the research question: "How do students and administrators understand the purpose and practice of military recruiting in their high schools, particularly as informed by local context?". This study pursues two primary pathways for inquiry. First, how do students and administrators understand students' post-graduate trajectories, specifically in light of military recruiting policy in schools? Second, what are students' and administrators' conceptions of the larger purpose of schooling in light of military recruiting in schools? Positioning schools' missions as mediating factors, this study considers how students and administrators understand military recruiting in their schools. By classifying data across two axes, this project categorizes each of the five schools in this project. Schools are categorized according to whether or not school missions identified "specific" purpose: mission-specific schools are designed or structured in pursuit of a specific postsecondary outcome, i.e. college attendance or technical competency, whereas mission-diffuse schools identify the purpose of their school as general preparedness for postsecondary life without one specific outcome in mind. Concomitantly, schools are classified schools according to the extent to which students "selected" to attend the institution in question. As such, "zoned" schools, where students are eligible for attendance based on their residence, are considered nonselective, whereas schools where students opt into attendance based on an explicit theme or program are considered selective. Through exploration of interview data, these classifications help mitigate how students and administrators understand military recruiting. Several findings emerge, including (1) though all interviewed administrators and students possess awareness of a societal anxiety around military recruiting in schools, the tenor of that anxiety shifts across schools according to school mission and is nuanced by family influence and personal experience; (2) though students tend to speak about military recruiting in terms of their individual experiences, administrators across schools group students by type in accordance to respective schools' missions and (3) each school's nuanced relationship to the postsecondary college attendance option informs the majority of study participants' understandings around recruiting within their respective schools. In contextualizing these findings within the framework of the scholarship surrounding the problems and tensions American high school, this investigation positions the relationship between school mission and students' and administrators' understanding of military recruiting in schools as a practical example of the problems of the American high schools. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York