Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder has signed on to a letter to the Department of Defense (DOD) from the Kansas Commissioner of Education, Randall D. Watson, and 29 additional state education leaders, requesting a new information sharing protocol for graduates who pursue a military career.
The letter supports a new partnership to better understand military service as a postsecondary option through data sharing between states and the DOD.
The data would allow state leaders to better understand how the military can be a successful career option and how to support military career readiness.
The military is a unique and honorable career option but the military branches are experiencing reduced enrollment and oftentimes turning away young Americans who would like to serve because they do not meet academic and physical requirements.
Without data to accurately understand which students are serving, in what roles, and for how long, many states do not include military service as an indicator when they evaluate school and student success.
“We simply must do better at preparing our students for military service. Wyoming was a national leader in including military readiness in its school accountability model. But that is just the beginning of our effort to ensure that every student who is interested in serving his or her country is informed and prepared to do so upon graduation” said Superintendent Degenfelder.
This group of state education leaders propose a model data sharing agreement, similar to ones made between the DOD and Department of Labor, to add state-specific enlistment and service dates to longitudinal data systems.
The start of this work would include the creation of a working group that defines military career readiness, specifies outcomes to measure success, and determines a timeframe within which to measure.
The working group would also be charged with developing secure and lawful data protocols and policies.