Tuesday, February 19, 2008


CHARLOTTE NEWS & OBSERVER - Three high school students were sent to an in-school suspension classroom after refusing to take a military aptitude test at Cedar Ridge High School. Principal Gary Thornburg said the students were not being disciplined, but rather that the in-school suspension teacher was the staff person available to supervise them. More than 300 juniors spent two hours Tuesday and again Wednesday in the school cafeteria taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Thornburg said the test, which the U.S. military calls the ASVAB, is traditionally administered to juniors at his school and is part of a larger career assessment program. The military provides the tests, proctors and grading without charge. In exchange, the scores are sent to military branch recruiters and the school. . .

By federal law, the contact information for any junior or senior who doesn't sign an opt-out form is passed along to recruiters by the school district. . .

Dakota Ling, one of the juniors sent to the suspension classroom, said he didn't think he would benefit from the test. Ling, an honors student, has a better than 4.0 grade point average and plans to become a graphic designer. "I just really don't want the military to have all the info it can on me," he said. . .

Students in Durham and Wake counties have to sign up for the test. So do students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and at the Orange County school system's other high school, Orange.

When it opened in 1996, East Chapel Hill High School tested all sophomores, said Winslow Carter, career development coordinator. "We had such an outrage from the parents and the community that we didn't do that anymore," Carter said. He said he still thinks the aptitude test is valuable for nonmilitary career guidance.
Now, fewer than 10 students a year take the test at East Chapel Hill High School.

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