Articles

Teachers of Garfield High School in Seattle Say No!

Seattle School Challanges Pentagon ASVAB TestingBy unanimous vote, the entire faculty at Garfield High School in Seattle voted not to administer the MAP test of reading and mathematics.

This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the faculty of an entire school refused to give mandated tests.

The action of the Garfield High School faculty could have national ramifications because it shows other teachers that there is strength in unity and that they do not have to endure unethical demands with passivity and resignation.

For their courage, their integrity, and their intelligence, I add the faculty of Garfield High School to the honor roll as champions of public education.

The teachers agreed that the tests are a waste of time and money. Students don’t take them seriously because they don’t count toward their grades. But teachers will be evaluated based on the results of these tests that students don’t take seriously. Even the organization that created the tests say they should not be used for teacher evaluation, but the district requires them anyway.

I hope that the example set by Garfield High School will resonate in school districts across the United States and around the world. High-stakes testing is bad for students, bad for teachers, and bad for education.

Militarism in Education

Andreas Speck -

Militarize our Children“On 1 August 1914, it was too late for pacifist propaganda, it was too late for militarist propaganda – in fact the militarists then only harvested what they have sown 200 years before. We have to sow."1

This is what German pacifist Kurt Tucholsky wrote in an article titled “On effective pacifism”, published in 1927. More than 80 years later, the militarists are still sowing. The presence of the military in schools is only the most outrageous example of the sowing and planting of militarist values into the minds of children and soon-to-be soldiers, or supporters of militarism and war. It is the most outrageous, because on the one hand schools should be about learning positive values and knowledge, and not about propaganda, and on the other hand children are most vulnerable to propaganda and indoctrination.

Militarist propaganda


A key function of military presence at schools is propaganda. This can be very obvious – as we can see in Serdar M. Degirmencioglu's article on militarism in schools in Turkey (see page 4 in the article in The Broken Rifle, March 2011, No. 88) – or more subtle, as the German military's use of the simulation game “Politics & International Security” in schools and universities (see Michael Schulze von Glaßer's article on page 9 - ibid). This military propaganda is aimed at ingraining militarist values into the minds of children, so that they do not question the existence and use of the military in later life.

 

 

 

Navy Steals: The military's new interest in STEM education

Seth Kershner -

ONR Encouraging Women to Pursue STEM CareersAlthough women make up about half of the United States workforce, they represent just 24 percent of careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In order to correct this, major nonprofit groups have been organizing STEM enrichment camps for middle- and high-school girls, driven by the philosophy that more women will pursue STEM careers if their interest is piqued at an early age.

But recently, some girls-only STEM programs have gone beyond fostering interest in science and math among the next generation of women. Branches of the U.S. military—in particular, the Navy—have increasingly been using these programs to market the military to girls as young as 11 and 12.

Founded in 1974, Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) organizes dozens of STEM conferences for middle- and high-school girls each year. According to its website, the EYH “recently had the opportunity to partner with the Navy and learn about careers where young women are underrepresented.” They give girls the following pitch: “You probably never gave much thought to having a career with the United States Navy. Many girls don’t.… We want to introduce you to several inspiring professional women who are currently active in the Navy and serve on aircraft carriers, who serve as Navy divers, or who serve in other interesting Navy careers.” Accompanying the text is a handy-dandy link to the Navy’s recruiting website.

The Permanent Militarization of America

Aaron B. O’Connell -

NOTE: NNOMY does not endorse the assumptions about the impact of militarization on the U.S. economy outlined in this article but chooses to repost it to highlight concerns for the desensitization of his students towards war expressed by a professor of history in a military university.

United States Naval Academy prepares young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or Marine CorpsIN 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office warning of the growing power of the military-industrial complex in American life. Most people know the term the president popularized, but few remember his argument.

In his farewell address, Eisenhower called for a better equilibrium between military and domestic affairs in our economy, politics and culture. He worried that the defense industry’s search for profits would warp foreign policy and, conversely, that too much state control of the private sector would cause economic stagnation. He warned that unending preparations for war were incongruous with the nation’s history. He cautioned that war and warmaking took up too large a proportion of national life, with grave ramifications for our spiritual health.

Military Targets Corvallis High Schools: Too Young to Drink, Old Enough to Serve

Genevieve Weber/Corvallis Advocate -

Military Targets Corvallis High Schools: Too Young to Drink, Old Enough to ServeWar is a touchy subject, especially given the near-palpable tension of the upcoming presidential election. If you’re against war, you’re a hippy at best, anti-military and unpatriotic at worst. If you’re for it, you’re pro-violence, anti-peace, an extreme conservative… Basically, you’re either too fat or too skinny, and the middle ground is essentially a wasteland. I’m not anti-military as we now know it, although there are certainly myriad issues. I do think increasing military spending when the military isn’t even asking for it, while cutting all sorts of important and necessary social programs, is absolutely ridiculous. But that’s neither here nor there.

There are some aspects of our military that are more controversial than others, and some issues really hit home—mainly because they’re happening here. When your teenaged son or daughter reports they conversed with a US military recruiter in the hall of their high school, you may experience mixed emotions. Maybe you feel socially obligated to support the military (or maybe you’re all for or against it), but you don’t want your child exposed to this particular career path. School administrators experience this same juxtaposition of thought—the men and women who recruit high school students may be exemplary human beings, and they’re simply doing their jobs. But recruiters are also asking young people to make decisions that studies suggest they aren’t ready to make, and, since it is their job to recruit people into the military, recruiters may not provide all necessary risk information to students.

War Making and State Making as Organized Crime

Charles Tilly -

Tudors - War MakersIf protection rackets represent organised crime at its smoothest, then war risking and state making – quintessential protection rackets with the advantage of legitimacy – qualify as our largest examples of organised crime. Without branding all generals and statesmen as murderers or thieves, I want to urge the value of that analogy. At least for the European experience of the past few centuries, a portrait of war makers and state makers as coercive and self-seeking entrepreneurs bears a far greater resemblance to the facts than do its chief alternatives: the idea of a social contract, the idea of an open market in which operators of armies and states offer services to willing consumers, the idea of a society whose shared norms and expectations call forth a certain kind of government.

The reflections that follow merely illustrate the analogy of war making and state making with organized crime from a few hundred years of European experience and offer tentative arguments concerning principles of change and variation underlying the experience. My reflections grow from contemporary concerns: worries about the increasing destructiveness of war, the expanding role of great powers as suppliers of arms and military organization to poor countries, and the growing importance of military control in those same countries. They spring from the hope that the European experience, properly understood, will help us to grasp what is happening today, perhaps even to do something about it.

Endless War: How Shooting Games Perpetuate War as the New Normal

Patricia Hernandez -

Endless WarAs of this year, the war on Afghanistan has been going on for over a decade--making it the longest standing war that the United States has been involved with. The average person living in the United States wouldn’t really know it, doesn’t really care, or can’t do anything about it.

The indifferent or helpless response makes sense. The “war on terror” makes it clear that the purpose of modern war is control--not conflict resolution. Peace isn’t on the drone’s radar. More war is. For in the “war on terror,” enemies could be anyone, anything; it has no particular enemy.

War becomes borderless. War cannot be ‘won’ in the traditional sense, it is ongoing, permanent. Security, and not defense, become the hallmark of ‘the war on terror,’ and this security redefines and violates civil rights in the name of the preservation of democracy. You’d think that the erosion of civil rights would create action, but this is where media such as games come into play.

Subscribe to NNOMY Newsletter

NNOMYnews reports on the growing intrusions by the Department of Defense into our public schools in a campaign to normalize perpetual wars with our youth and to promote the recruitment efforts of the Pentagon.

CLICK HERE

Search Articles

Registered User Login

Registered users have access to article and category indexes, document downloads and research links. Utilize your user menu to access these resources. If you do not have an account, you must SIGN UP first.

Welcome. You now have access to download documents that are only available to registered users.

Language

Donate to NNOMY

Your donation to NNOMY works to balance the military's message in our public schools. Our national network of activists go into schools and inform youth considering military service the risks about military service that recruiters leave out.

CONTRIBUTE