the daily caller: Mark "Month of the military child" by committing to a high-quality education

April is Month of the Military Child and a great opportunity to discuss the challenges facing students in military families as they move from state to state and school to school three times as often as their civilian peers. In a recent op-ed in the Daily Caller,  former Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, discussed the importance of high, comparable education standards for military-connected students. "We owe them a better educational experience than what they’re currently receiving," Brewer writes. 

Real Clear DefenseIs Education Our Military's Achilles Heel?

Active duty military men and women account for roughly 1 million sons and daughters needing a good, promising education in this country. Many of these students face the challenges of new schools, different teachers, and military parents not knowing the education progress their children are making. “Rigorous and comparable standards, especially in core subjects, are important to minimizing the disruptive impact of frequent moves,” Chairwoman of Military Family for High Standards Christi Ham writes. "How the states implement the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act will be the real test of their commitment to this effort.”

Richmond times-dispatchHow Virginia can improve education for military families

Virginia is a state where children of military families make up a large portion of the student population. A new report written by the Lexington Institute’s Don Soifer and the Collaborative for Student Success’ Jim Cowen explores how Virginia can help improve the education experience of the many military families living in the Commonwealth. The report found, Virginia “has made powerful strides in meeting the education needs of military families, but still has room to make significant improvements.”  As Cowen and Soifer explained, “the challenges that military families face with their children’s education are not unique, just more complicated and more frequent.”

Washington Post: When troops worry about their kids’ schools, our military suffers

For service members, a major component of military readiness is knowing that as they move from base to base with family in tow, the quality of their children’s education doesn’t suffer. Military readiness is being negatively impacted because many military families are making decisions about whether to leave the Armed Forces or to accept a move to a particular duty station based in part on the quality of the surrounding schools. In a recent Washington Post article by the Collaborative's Jim Cowen, it is made clear that when troops worry about their kids, our military suffers.

THe Hill: The stealth factor in military readiness

The Collaborative’s Jim Cowen and Marcus Lingenfelter of the National Math and Science Initiative write about the education of military-connected students and its potential impact on military readiness. They argue, “Military families now make choices about whether to accept a particular duty station or, worse, even depart the armed forces based in part on the quality of the surrounding schools.” Highlighting the findings from a recent survey of Military Times readers, Cowen and Lingenfelter make the case for high, comparable standards for military-connected students.

Real Clear Defense: quality education imperative for military children

Military service necessitates a nomadic lifestyle, and while frequent moves are tough for adults, they can be even harder for children, writes Melissa Johnson, a military spouse. Moving every 18 months to two years, on average, is not a situation conducive to a consistent educational foundation. Comparable education standards, which have been adopted by military schools and most states, are “an obvious improvement for the one million military-connected children.” Likewise, the military student identifier will help ensure that students who move regularly do not fall through the cracks and will better ensure they get the support they need.

THE HILL: MILITARY CHILDREN NEED CONSISTENT EDUCATIONS

Our nation’s military families make incredible sacrifices to selflessly serve our country. Often, one of those sacrifices is the education of their children. Lack of consistent education standards should not be the cost to bear for so many of our military families. "It is imperative for policymakers in these 40-plus states to continue to stay the course on their high, consistent standards. It is the least they can do for military families," writes the former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, Gen. James “Spider” Marks.

74 million: military families suffer because academic standards vary by state

Given the frequency of moves made by military families — they relocate an average of six to nine times throughout a child’s K-12 career. As a result, the education of military children can suffer, with students disadvantaged by being either ahead of or behind their peers. That’s why military families around the country have responded with a new nationwide effort pushing for consistent and comparable education standards for children of all ages, for pre-K and K-12 students.

INSIDE SOURCES: HIGH, CONSISTENT EDUCATION STANDARDS GIVE MILITARY FAMILIES A FIGHTING CHANCE

On average, military-connected children will move six to nine times during their K-12 career. “That’s why military families support high, consistent educational standards,” writes Melissa Johnson, a member of Military Families for High Standards. Rigorous, consistent standards “can lessen the jarring impact of a move,” and in most states the concerted effort to create greater comparability has raised classroom expectations.

HUFFINGTON POST: Military families have many stories

Highlighting Military Family Month, Military Families for High Standards Chairwoman Christi Ham writes that military families have many stories – stories that tend to revolve around frequent relocations. “Families feel displaced and yet they function with great resolve.” 

Huffington Post: A Letter from a Military Spouse to Our Next President 

“As we approach Veterans Day, and make our way through Military Family Month,” writes Military Families for High Standards Chairwoman Christi Ham, “I am hoping that you will find a special opportunity to focus some of your time on our military-connected children and their educational futures.” In a letter, Ham urges President-elect Trump to remember the unique needs of military-connected students, and ensure that providing them with high, consistent standards is a priority in the coming years

How Is My Kid Doing? The Origins of the Fort Riley Process 

After an influx of military families in 2006, First Division Commander, General Carter Ham, asked Fort Riley staff to collect, compile, and share information about military-connected students with schools in the area. The purpose was to help students transition into classrooms, and, “as time went on, the process became institutionalized.” Christi Ham, head of Military Families for High Standards and spouse of General Ham, writes that the lessons learned “can serve as a template to ensure that our Armed Forces work with our local military communities to ensure that our children are not forgotten.” 

San bernardino sun: Improving schools can help blunt base closures: Guest commentary

The Armed Forces are sizing up the value of installations across the country, putting a greater emphasis on non-traditional factors like school performance – which can have a big impact on whether service members opt to make a career in the military, writes Jim Cowen. “Those surrounding communities that can demonstrate steadily improving school performance anchored to high K-12 standards will fare better.” 

Huffington Post: Three Cheers for the Military Student Identifier

 Christi Ham, chair of Military Families for High Standards explains why the “military student identifier” requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act will help ensure children of service members have the same access to a high quality education as their peers in this Huffington Post piece. The information the "military student identifier" will better ensure that these students have the same chance to succeed as every other student.

huffington post: Jumping the Educational Hurdles after a Cross Country Move: A Military Mother’s Story (Part One)

Military families relocate frequently – six to nine times, on average, during a child’s K-12 career. Each move is accompanied by the obstacles of helping those students adjust to their new schools, a reality documented by Tammy Ziegler McCreery, a member of Military Families for High Standards in this Huffington Post piece. 

HEAD IN THE SANd: High, shared standards: That’s how we keep our students in military families from losing ground

Military families move frequently, which can put children at risk of falling behind in school. Diane Gawkins says she moved 13 times over 27 years with her husband and two daughters. “That’s one reason why most military families support high, consistent education standards that prepare students for college and careers,” which, Gawkins adds, puts them in the same boat as most Americans. 

PRESS RELEASE: "MILITARY FAMILIES LEAD NEW INITIATIVE TO COMBAT EDUCATION CHALLENGES"

"Families of military service members and veterans understand the value of high, consistent education standards more than most. Moving an average of six to nine times throughout their child’s K-12 career, military families are often faced with the consequences of inconsistent standards – having to catch their students up to grade level in a new state, or watch them struggle to sit through material they’ve already learned. With that in mind, the Collaborative for Student Success is proud to announce its partnership with the new, spouse-led initiative called Military Families for High Standards, which advocates for high academic standards that limit the hardships faced by military students." 

washington Post: Military Families Have an Extra Hurdle Getting Their Kids Ready for College. A Mom Says We Should Change That 

For children of military families, access to a quality education that prepares them for college and career is complicated by frequent moves and inconsistency between schools, says Melissa Helmick, an Army wife and member of Military Families for High Standards. “The answer for military-connected kids – and for civilian kids alike – is high and measurable academic standards that are clear and consistent from state to state, standards such as the Common Core State Standards.” 

Richmond times-dispatch: Virginia needs to close the honesty gap

As Virginia policymakers consider updating the education standards in their state, it is critical they set the bar to college- and career-ready levels—especially for military families, writes Sandy Law, a member of Military Families for High Standards. “High standards, backed up by rigorous testing, ensure a high-quality education, no matter where the military sends you.” 

THE VIRGINIAN PILOT: THE EDUCATION SACRIFICE MADE BY THE MILITARY'S KIDS

Children of military families make a huge sacrifice by frequently moving between schools, writes Patti Hunzeker of Military Families for High Standards. “Our family moved 16 times and our children were educated in 11 different school districts…Often I found myself tutoring a child because he or she hadn’t been exposed to a curriculum required for that state.” 

Huffington Post: Why We Celebrate Military Spouse Day

"What Military Spouse Day should really be about is to allow everyone to take a step back and stand in awe at some of the strongest and most resolute groups in our country. Yes, we have faced many difficulties in our lives as military spouses. And we will face many more in the future. But we are not victims. Don’t kid yourself; we are not afraid of the hardships and we will continue to meet them head on."

 

 

Breitbart: Jan Brewer: Military Families Highlight Our Need for ‘High, Consistent, and Comparable Education Standards’

"Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer appeared on Friday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon to talk about her commitment to educational reform and her support for America’s military personnel, which combine in her involvement with groups like Military Families for High Standards and the Collaborative for Student Success."

AUSA NEWS: Kids Face Their Own Readiness Issues 

"Knowing what to expect when moving to a new school—and not having to worry about immediately falling behind the learning curve among classmates—can go a long way toward “lightening the rucksack,” said Ham during a recent panel discussion at AUSA headquarters in Arlington, Va." 
 

FOX NEWS: "Gov. Jan Brewer: Military families need high, consistent education standards"

"Military families move an average of six to nine times throughout a child’s K-12 life. That’s a new school every year and a half to two years...Having grown up on a military base, I know this places significant stress on military children. This explains why groups like Military Families for High Standards exist. Led by Christi Ham, a longtime military spouse, parent and educator, the initiative is working to raise awareness about why military students need these high standards and how consistent standards can benefit these highly mobile students as they move from state to state and base to base."  
 

inside sources: How to Improve the Education of 1 Million Kids

The typical military child will move six to nine times during a 13-year K-12 career. This makes the challenges more frequent and daunting. In this op-ed, Christie Ham explains that "to assist the 1 million children of military families who attend public schools in the United States, we need to take steps that ensure these students have the same opportunity to achieve as their non-military counterparts."

MILITARY TIMES: "Military spouses back Common Core as key to improving kids' education"

"A group of military spouses is taking on the issue of the quality of education in schools, promoting Common Core State Standards as the best chance to raise the bar for military children — and all children."
 

MILITARY TIMES: "How Common Core helps military families"

"High standards can ensure that the children of our military families have a fighting chance to succeed...That’s why we have formed Military Families for High Standards. Our goal is to educate military families, our friends and our allies about the benefits of high, consistent standards. We also want to provide a counterbalance against those who argue against raising the bar for our children."
 

PRESS RELEASE: "Military Families Lead New Initiative to Combat Education Challenges"

"Families of military service members and veterans understand the value of high, consistent education standards more than most. Moving an average of six to nine times throughout their child’s K-12 career, military families are often faced with the consequences of inconsistent standards – having to catch their students up to grade level in a new state, or watch them struggle to sit through material they’ve already learned. With that in mind, the Collaborative for Student Success is proud to announce its partnership with the new, spouse-led initiative called Military Families for High Standards, which advocates for high academic standards that limit the hardships faced by military students."