Military giving high school drop-outs a second chance

Filed under: Day Care & Education

The war in Iraq has strained America's military to the point where qualified new recruits are getting harder to come by. A high school diploma is a requirement in all branches of the military, but now the military is aiming to bring high-school dropouts into the fold.

The National Guard has a program for privates who drop out of school after joining up. They get a three-week intensive course designed to help them pass their GED tests so they can meet the minimum requirements for staying in the Guard.

The Army and Army National Guard are taking things a step further and actually reaching out to past dropouts - some of them out of school for years - helping them get their GEDs in return for their enlistment in the Army. The program, known as Education Plus, was started in 2005 and has been responsible for 13,000 recruits earning their GEDs.

While nobody could possibly argue with kids being given the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, there are those who are concerned about the lower quality of military recruits. Rep. Joe Sestak, a Democrat from Pennsylvania and a former Navy vice admiral, says he worried about this recruitment trend. "What we have here is an erosion, a downward trend, in recruitment quality," he said.

What do you think about the military helping high-school dropouts get their GEDs in return for enlisting?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.