As the debate rages over how to fix what's wrong with Milwaukee public schools, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found a new cause for alarm: Our schools leave our kids so ill-prepared that they can't even make the grade as cannon fodder any more.
It seems an unusually high percentage of Milwaukee's young people are failing to clear the basic hurdles to enter the military because they have dropped out of school, have criminal records, or are too out of shape physically. This has the newspaper so concerned that it devoted both an editorial and an op ed column by one of its editorial board members last week.
First came the editorial, headlined Not fit enough to serve:
A recent report says 75% of young people ages 17 to 24 are unable to join to the military because they are either too unfit, fail to graduate from high school or have a criminal record.
... These statistics argue for a greater emphasis on physical and academic education and illustrate the severity of a health crisis in America.
Military officials say the numbers are a threat to the military, because they are choosing from a smaller pool of qualified candidates.