The Maine Department of Education recently posted an article online titled, “ASVAB career exploration test not just for students interested in military.”

That may be true, except that the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is primarily a major tool for recruiters to get data about potential recruits.

The article further claimed that schools properly decide whether to release contact information and test data to military recruiters, despite the robust protections to student privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

All the schools in Maine giving the ASVAB appear to be selecting Option 6 on behalf of students, which says all student data is shared after a week. According to the website studentprivacy.org, no schools are selecting Option 8, which would keep student data private.

How many schools are letting students and their families know that they also have the right to select Option 8 when taking the ASVAB test?

Maine’s Commissioner of Education Stephen Bowen should direct superintendents to choose Option 8, in order to protect the privacy of students under FERPA. Students and their parents still will be free to decide if they want to provide their information to recruiters.

LIsa Savage

Solon