To the editor:

ASVAB stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a test for military recruits designed by the military and graded by the military. What then is it doing in our schools? And why should we care?

The military offers the ASVAB to high schools nationwide. It is offered free of charge which is, naturally, tempting to schools struggling with budget cuts. Whether or not it is a good measure of academic aptitude is a matter of opinion, but when a school decides to offer the test it is administered by the school and sent to the military to be graded. It is at this juncture that student privacy issues arise.

Acting on behalf of students, schools have several “options” to choose from. Currently, Maine schools are most often choosing Option 6 which means that test scores are forwarded to military recruiters. In this way schools are releasing private student information without the knowledge of students or parents and are failing to observe the Family Education and Privacy Act.

Option 8 states that “access to student test information is not provided to recruiting services.” This is the option we urge all schools to select. If a student is over the age of 18 or has parental permission they may, of course, choose to release their ASVAB scores to the military.

Currently, no school in Maine selects Option 8 when forwarding ASVAB tests to the military.

Maine Veterans for Peace and American Friends Service Committee, Maine are working together to ask Maine Commissioner of Education Stephen Bowen to urge all school superintendents to ensure the selection of Option 8.

We hope parents and students will speak with high school principals asking them to select Option 8 whenever the ASVAB is given in order to protect their privacy under FERPA.

Jim Brokaw, Natalie

Kempner, Rosalie Paul for

AFSC Maine

Peggy Akers, Richard and Rita Clement, Nicole

Moreau, Lisa Savage for

Maine VFP