Category: Military

Making Universities and Colleges More Military Friendly

RON AVI ASTOR, professor of urban social development, Schools of Education and Social Work

This op-ed originally appeared at the Huffington Post.

Relations between academia and the military services are not known for their cordiality. The flash point was the Vietnam War. Campuses across the country were incubators of the anti-war movement and arenas for major protests. Many units of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps were shut down, especially at the Ivies. More recently, the government’s “Don’t-Ask-Don’t Tell” policy for gays was a source of friction at some universities.

Warriors on the Edge of a Fiscal Cliff

RON AVI ASTOR, professor of urban social development, USC School of Social Work.

This op-ed originally appeared at CNN.

With the presidential race heading into its final stretch, both candidates vow to protect the sacred promises made to military families. But neither is offering any details on how they might support military families if we hit a fiscal cliff with budget cuts that could wipe out services for military and veterans’ families.

Month after month, in the midst of a heated presidential and congressional pre-election cycle, we see no organized blueprint to integrate millions of military family members into civilian society.

Why Do We Continue to Ignore Military Students?

RON AVI ASTOR, professor USC School of Social Work

This op-ed originally appeared at HuffingtonPost.

For half a decade now, Congress has failed to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, better known as No Child Left Behind. The principal stumbling block has been how to rewrite the law’s accountability requirements for student achievement. That’s certainly a debate worth having. But the continuing disagreement has had an unfortunate consequence. It has foreclosed an opportunity to help one the most neglected populations in public education: military students.

The vast majority of the 1.2 million school-aged military children attend public schools. While there are schools that are models of how to support military students, most are still not equipped to help these students manage the stresses of military life: adjusting to new schools year after year because of their parents’ changing deployment orders; dealing with a revolving door of friendships; handling the