As the military accepts more high school drop-outs, it’s helping recruits pass their GED to qualify for service. The Pennsylvania National Guard offers an intensive course for recruits who enlisted in high school but didn’t complete a diploma, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The three-week course, also open to recruits from other states, goes beyond the classroom. Privates get up at 4:45 a.m. daily for physical training, spend nine hours in classes, have a study hall in the evening and also learn boot camp-type skills like making a bed.
It’s not your typical high school classroom: As either a civilian or military teacher leads instruction, a drill sergeant is also present.
More than 85 of the 120 privates who’ve taken the Guard’s GED classes have passed the test since March.
More than 13,000 recruits have earned GEDs through Education Plus, started by the Army and the National Guard in 2005. Only 73 percent of new soldiers were high school graduates in 2006, down from 90 percent in 2004. The Army’s goal is 90 percent. Non-graduates must earn a GED.
Education Gadfly wonders if educators will analyze the Guard’s intensive classes for ideas on working with potential drop-outs. Do they need drill sergeants?