Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission and Common Core State Standards work hand in hand to secure military childrens’ educational futures
November 12, 2012 05:01 pm
It’s your first day at school. No, it’s not the familiar schoolhouse with all of your favorite teachers, best friends, playground or the first crush you’ve grown to adore. This is a new school where no one knows your name and they don’t recognize your face. You’ve been in a similar situation at least once in your life, right?
Now imagine the anticipation, nervousness and curiosity you’d feel if it happened every two years or even multiple times during the same school year. It seems rather impossible, but, according to the National Military Family Association, “on average, military children will move at least twice during their high school years, and most will attend six to nine different schools between kindergarten and 12th grade.”
I come from a family that is steeped in military culture. My grandparents and uncle are retired veterans. My husband now serves active duty for the Air Force. His cousin and uncle serve the Army National Guard and soon deploy for their second tour of Afghanistan. One day, our future children may make fourth generation retirees.
After our second year at my husband’s first duty station, I began to volunteer with several military associations and went to a presentation on military children and the education system. It focused on a state-led policy to support the educational success of military children called the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (fondly referred to as MIC3 or the Compact).
In honor of Veteran’s Day, I would like to share information about this important policy that has been signed into law by forty-three states and is supported by the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
The goal of MIC3 is to replace the widely varying state and local policies that affect transitioning military students. The Compact leverages consistency; it uses a comprehensive approach that provides a “consistent policy in every school district in every state that chooses to join.” It addresses key educational transition issues encountered by military families that include enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility, and graduation. MIC3 is designed to enable cooperation between states and allow for the uniform treatment of military children transferring between school districts and states. The unification of states in the Compact helps ensure that military children have the educational opportunities they deserve within and across state borders.
Of course, the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards(CCSS) will also help children in military families. In fact, the CCSS and MIC3 will work hand in hand. The CCSS will help ensure that military children consistently receive a high-quality education regardless of where their parents are stationed, and MIC3 will help military children transition more smoothly into their new schools.
The awareness and successful implementation of the Compact is important to parents, caregivers, educators, support personnel, and administrators because it reflects on one of the many sacrifices military families and their children make in order to serve this country. MIC3 highlights the nation’s commitment and support for military students through education and eases the burden brought on by the many challenges they face. States that haven’t adopted MIC3 should do so, and states that have should continue to work toward raising local awareness and full implementation of the Compact.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, let’s acknowledge all who serve this great nation and their families who serve along-side them. Let us remember the past with a commitment to our current students to support their pathways to the future.
The Alliance would like to thank the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) for their series of blog posts regarding the Compact. By helping to spread the word on MIC3, you too can support the success of America’s two million children in military families attending public schools. By supporting a seamless transition between schools, you can help ensure that military children graduate from high school, ready to succeed in college and a career.
For more information on MIC3, visit: http://mic3.net/and