When it comes to the U.S. Military, almost half of Wisconsin’s African American students aren’t even fit to serve.
Overall, the Badger state ASVAB test takers graded as above average, but posted one of the worst rates for African American students. While Wisconsin’s near 19 percent failure rate was good for 17th nationally, the ineligibility rate for black students over the past five years was the fourth worst in the country. Amongst eligible states*, only Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas fared worse.
Regionally, Wisconsin ranked fourth out of six upper Midwestern states, including a last place finish for black students. Not surprisingly, the state led the nation in the achievement gap between African American and White students. On a more positive note, Wisconsin was only fourth in the region when it came to the gap between Hispanic and White students.
We've written at length about declining ASVAB scores and their impact on military recruiting. With fewer young Americans achieving passing scores on the test, it will be more difficult for the services to meet their quotas. And, qualification scores aren't excessive by any measure; the minimum entrance score for an Army recruit is 31; it's 32 for future Marines, 35 for the Navy, 40 for the Air Force and 45 for the U.S. Coast Guard. So, it's possible for future service members to score below 50 on the ASVAB and still meet service requirements for the aptitude test.
Unfortunately, most African-American students in Wisconsin don't have that option, given their 50% failure rate on the ASVAB. Among Hispanics, more than one in four in Wisconsin schools can't achieve a passing score on the military entrance exam.
And where do you find most of the black and Hispanic students in the Badger State? The Milwaukee public school system, the same one that was shut down for several days last week, because many of its teachers were protesting in Madison.
You can see why they're fighting so hard to retain collective bargaining. With that sort of job performance, many of those Wisconsin teachers would be out of work without their union protection.