y and m online spacerissuesactivismresourcesFor the MediaMagazine eye
inside the news
September 2000

Asking Questions About the Academies

inside the news icon
New JROTC students learning to salute.

If a military/JROTC academy is starting up or already running in your community, begin raising questions. Teachers and parents at the school may share your concerns. Meet with the principal, teachers' union representatives, student groups, or school board members and challenge them to consider what tradeoffs have been made, whether a quality program is being provided, and whether the program treats all students fairly and with respect.

Questions about tradeoffs: What did the school give up to get this program?

  • How much school district funding is going into the academy this year? Next year? Future years? What else could have been bought with that funding?
  • How much federal/military funding is the program receiving each year?
  • Have other programs in the school or district experienced budget cuts recently (e.g., music, sports)?
  • What contributions is the academy getting from the private sector? Might those same resources have been available for a non-military program?
  • What other electives or special programs might students be enrolled in if JROTC wasn't there?
  • What was the space the academy occupies used for previously? What effect does the academy have on the space needs of the school's other programs?
  • Are jobs normally held by union members being filled by non-union, retired military personnel?

Questions about educational quality: Are students gaining essential knowledge and skills?

  • How was the curriculum for the academy program developed? Who has evaluated it?
  • What is the normal procedure for the introduction of a new curriculum or text? Was it followed for the academy? Does the curriculum meet accepted standards?
  • Specifically, is the content of the program consistent with the school's standards and regulations around issues of multiculturalism, violence, and conflict resolution? Is marksmanship a component of the curriculum?
  • How are the outcomes (e.g., academic performance, behavior, graduation and dropout rates, post-graduation success) for academy students being measured and evaluated?
  • How do credential requirements for the military instructors compare to those for other teachers?
  • Do courses count toward college entrance requirements? Are they academically challenging, college preparatory classes?

Questions about equity: Are students being treated fairly?

  • What does it mean to call the academy a program for "at-risk youth?" Who can participate? Is the program closed to students who don't meet minimum standards for academics and behavior?
  • Do special education students and students with disabilities have full access to the activities, resources, and classes of the academy, whether or not they meet the qualifications for JROTC?
  • Can openly lesbian or gay students participate in the program? Can they qualify for all the benefits available to other students (e.g., military-funded college scholarships)?
  • Can immigrant students who are not US citizens participate (despite JROTC's requirement that cadets be US citizens)?
  • Do female students have female instructors in the academy to serve as role models or mentors?
  • If the academy has special facilities (like a computer lab or modern gym facilities), are these available to students who cannot or do not choose to be part of the JROTC program?
  • Do participants in the program, who will receive encouragement to pursue careers in the military, also receive adequate counseling and encouragement to pursue college, other career training, and non-military career options?
  • Is the academy free from incidents of hazing and other forms of violence and harassment?
ask us!

Learn more...
True Cost of JROTC

Learn more...
JROTC teachers bring strike-breaking role into schools

Learn more...
About the JROTC curriculum

Learn more...
Does JROTC belong in our schools?

Learn more...
The New-Old Face of JROTC

Learn more...
Military Academies Revisited

spacerabout ussite mapFAQscontact uswhat's newhomeAFSC home

issues | activism | resources | media | news
ask us | 10 points on enlistment | Oakland military academy | military academies revisited | asking about academies
about us | site map | FAQs | contact us | what's new | Y&M home | AFSC home

© American Friends Service Committee · National Youth & Militarism Program 1998, 1999, 2000.