State Board VP serving on education and military task force

Posted by: Mario Hendricks - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -  Randy McKinney, Alabama State Board of Education Vice President, has been selected to serve on a year-long study group titled, Common Ground: Education and the Military Meeting the Needs of Students.

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) panel will examine the skills and knowledge youths need to become strong students and leaders as they transition from postsecondary education to the next phase of their lives.

"Giving all students the best possible education is our goal in Alabama," said McKinney. "The military has an outstanding record in training that includes more than 150 different career paths. The Army provides an ASVAB [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery] test at no charge to students or school systems. ASVAB helps students identify their aptitude in various career interests. The military's application of discipline and strong standards coupled with high expectations is of great interest to me in applying this to the field of education. We can learn from each other in improving our educational system."

As a member of the 2010 national study group, McKinney will meet with other state board members, researchers and policy analysts to delve into areas in which educators and the military have shared goals, and examine how specific curricula and assessment programs developed by and for the military may be adapted to improve public education. Common Ground is about exploring every option available as boards explore how to best help students develop into accomplished, confident and productive high school graduates.

The 2010 study group members will examine the coordination between K-12 education and the military to meet the needs of students, and explore several key issues including:

  • Building a comprehensive understanding of postsecondary choices for students;
  • Improving graduation rates;
  • Improving the health and fitness of high school students;
  • Expanding career exploration/assessment and test preparation resources for educators and students; and
  • Elevating the need for well-trained teachers, particularly in the areas of science and mathematics.

The Common Ground study group will issue a comprehensive report in October 2010 at the NASBE Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. The group's policy recommendations will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders including Congress, federal officials, governors, chief state school officers, local education policymakers, and the education and military communities.

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