Military Urges Governor Bryant to Boost Education

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(Hernando, MS) A task force of retired military leaders says three out of four recruits ages 17 to 24 can’t pass the written tests to get into any of the branches of the armed services.

They reportedly see the biggest problems with math and reading.

”The ASVAB test is very important because the bar is getting higher. There is a large number of recruits, people may think because there’s a war going on there’s less, but there’s a large number tryin’ to get in,” said Colonel John Caldwell of the U.S. Marine Reserves.

Caldwell says the smartest are getting in.

Problem is, there are many who might, but just can’t pass the basics at a time when some military jobs require more technical knowledge than ever.

Military leaders in Mississippi believe the answer lies in early childhood education and are urging Governor Bryant to spend money on mandatory kindergarten and per-kindergarten programs.

Caldwell says those programs prepare students for life-long learning, ”Preschool education is important, kindergarten in particular. Mississippi is just now looking at making kindergarten mandatory but that’s an important time in life to get the baseline set."

Unfortunately, lawmakers say there’s no way to revive a kindergarten bill that’s already dead for this session .

Caldwell says that will keep America not only competitive, but safe.