Two ADC leaders outlined ways defense communities can make their local schools the best they can be to serve military-connected students in a recent Defense Opinion op-ed.

“Military leaders have stressed that K-12 school performance is a big deal because it impacts recruitment into the ranks and retention of current service members with school-age children, most of whom attend public schools,” Jerrod Wheeler and Marcus Lingenfelter wrote.

Wheeler, the superintendent of Knob Noster Schools in Missouri, is an ADC board member. Lingenfelter chairs ADC’s K-12 education task force.

Wheeler and Lingenfelter recommend exploring available DOD grants, implementing quality programs important to military families such as STEM and applied learning programs, and adopting standards that match those at DOD schools.

“More than ever, military readiness is overlapping with the performance of the local schools near a military base,” they wrote. “For the sake of national security, and a local region’s economic viability, we must provide those schools with a formula for success.”

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Navy photo by Seaman Apprentice Samantha Schuster