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Report: Military Favors Early Education to Boost National Security

An alliance of retired military leaders called on policymakers to support early childhood education as a means of boosting America's economic power and armed forces, in a newly released report bluntly titled, "A Commitment to Pre-Kindergarten is a Commitment to National Security."

While traditionally military service has been seen as a route for young people after graduation as a route or alternative to college, now 20 percent can't score well enough on the military's entrance exam to serve, the report shows. Moreover, as my colleague Julie Blair over at Early Years notes the group, Mission: Readiness, finds three out of four Americans of typical military recruitment age—ages 17 to 24—"cannot serve in the military, primarily because they are too poorly educated, physically unfit, or have a criminal record."

The report found according to the most recent 2012 data, 10 states have no preschool education, and more than half of states provide preschool for less than a third of their 4-year-olds. It's interesting that these military leaders are looking for a solution to the military's workforce issues in preschool education. As the Census announced today, minority students now make up 49.9 percent of American children under 5, making the achievement gaps among black, Hispanic, white, and Asian students a majority problem, not a minority one.

For more on the report, check out The Early Years blog here.

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