The Pentagon operates a school system that’s larger than Boston Public Schools.
Nearly 70,000 American children receive an education in the US and in foreign countries, provided by the military.
The Department of Defense’s students score well on assessments.
Pentagon schools have more equal funding than public schools.
(NewsReady.com) – The US Department of Defense trains the best military in the world. America’s Armed Forces are revered around most of the globe. They are put through the ringer, and only the best go on to serve the country after boot camp.
It might come as a surprise that not only does the US military train the brightest soldiers, but it also successfully educates thousands of children.
Better Than Public Schools
In the last decade, the Department of Defense has seen its lowest achieving students, those in the bottom 25th percentile, receive improved scores in eighth-grade reading and fourth-grade math. Meanwhile, students in public schools have seen their grades remain stagnant.
Sarah Mervosh, a reporter for The New York Times, examined the numbers and found the Pentagon’s students scored significantly higher on tests. In 2022, only 29% of public school eighth graders were proficient in reading, compared to 55% of the DOD’s eighth graders. In math, only 26% of public kids were proficient, while 41% of the Pentagon’s students were.
The Pentagon’s black and Hispanic students also had the best outcomes across the country.
In the US, the federal government provides funding to the states for public schools. In turn, states also provide funding for their own schools. Finally, each individual county funds the institutions as well. That creates a lot of disparities between affluent and poor neighborhoods.
Mervosh points out that the Pentagon’s schools are well-funded by the federal government, and the classrooms are stocked with art supplies and books. Unlike public schools, where teachers are often forced to pay for supplies out of their own pockets.
Unlike the Pentagon’s schools, property taxes are often used to fund schools across the country. Of course, the more affluent the neighborhood, the higher the property taxes, which means the schools receive more funding. On the flip side, if the property taxes are low, the funding will be low for classrooms as well.
DOD schools are also not subject to the politics of whoever is in office at a local level. There are no school board members or mayors trying to score political points within their own parties. They are insulated from the hot-button issues related to sexual orientation and book bans.
All of the children in the Pentagon’s system have their basic needs met as far as housing and food. Prudence Carter, a sociologist at Brown University, told the Times that the Pentagon’s schools show America what education could look like if all students had access to “housing, health care, food, [and] quality teachers.”
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