WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- More than a fifth of U.S. high school graduates lack the skills to enlist in the Army, test results show.
An analysis of data from the Army's Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery finds higher numbers of blacks and Hispanics failing to meet standards in math, reading, science and problem-solving skills, The Education Trust reported.
Among those who enlisted, 43 percent of white recruits scored in the top two categories, compared with 25 percent of Hispanics and 18 percent of African-Americans.
There was also wide geographical variation. More than 30 percent of applicants scored too low to enlist in Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi and Washington, D.C. But in Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Wyoming the rate of ineligibility was less than 15 percent, according to the report, "Shut Out of the Military."
"Too many of us, including educators, have comforted ourselves with the notion that kids who aren't ready for college can find a place in the armed services," trust President Kati Haycock said. "These findings shatter that myth and strip away the illusion of opportunity available to underprepared students."