Military Schools – They’re Not for Troubled Teens
Mr. John Ryker
Military schools have traditionally been viewed as an academic alternative for troubled teens, but not anymore. Over the last few decades they have risen to reach the highest echelons of education. The improved academic curriculum combined with the traditional programs of military and physical training have made military boarding schools a top choice for parents—and not just parents of troubled adolescents, but parents who want their child to have a well-rounded, first-class education. The primary reason for such an increase in interest and enrollment are the many social and educational advantages offered by military schools.
The Social Advantages of Military Schools
Military schools create solid citizens and great leaders. These include Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, CEOs, senators, congressmen, and, of course, presidents and leaders of other great countries. They have also produced famous actors, artists, authors, and athletes, as well as scientists, inventors and physicians. Composer Stephen Sondheim attended the New York Military Academy as a young man, where Donald J. Trump also went to school before attending Fordham University and the University of Pennsylvania. Former New York Yankee’s owner George Steinbrenner went to the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger attended the Valley Forge Military Academy. The list goes on and grows more impressive from there.
The focus on the values associated with great leadership, such as intellectualism, independence, patriotism and compassion are obviously effective. Although not all graduates from military schools rise to such prominence or fame, most do become capable, confident and well-rounded citizens.
There is overwhelming evidence that the superior quality educational and physical curriculums are responsible for alleviating many social ills. This view was recently supported by British Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg who said in an interview with BBC News that “The armed forces can make important contributions to the nation not just on the battlefield but by embedding standards and values they embody within our social fabric.”
Marine Military Academy, for example, help shape boys into young men by instilling in them the core principles and values of the USMC. These values, including personal integrity, courage, self-confidence, and the desire to lead by example, prepare young men for the next steps in their life, regardless of whether or not they have an interest or desire in joining the Armed Forces.
Military schools also offer opportunities to those who may otherwise lack hope or ambition. Many young people who would normally be deprived of a first-rate education because of behavioral problems have benefited from the structure and support of a military-type education. However, the historical view that military schools are for troubled children is no longer a valid one. Many parents select a military boarding school for their child as these institutions offer a more traditional curriculum.
The Academic Advantages of Military Schools
In general, military school students score higher on achievement tests and are accepted to colleges and universities at a higher rate than young men and women who graduate from public high schools. There is also less disparity among student populations. According to an article printed in the New York Times in December of 2011, “the achievement gap separating black students from white students is much smaller at military schools.”
The disparity in academic achievement between traditional and military schools can be explained by several factors. Military institutions constantly review their curriculum for effectiveness. They incorporate placement tests that identify weaknesses in individuals, which are then addressed in the classroom by exceptionally well-qualified teachers. Military boarding schools also typically offer much smaller class sizes than traditional public institutions of learning. The smaller student-to-faculty ratio at military schools in the United States stimulates and inspires academic excellence as it allows teachers to devote more time addressing each student’s specific learning needs. Because of the elite academic success typical of the average military school graduate, parents interested in giving their children the best shot at getting into the best colleges and universities choose military boarding schools for their sons.
Military schools offer a strong curriculum in the core subjects of mathematics, history, English, foreign languages, and social and physical sciences. They also offer Advanced Placement and Honor classes and provide research opportunities. The physical curriculum includes basic fitness training, a wide variety of team and individual sports, and weight training. Extracurricular activities include much of that found in traditional institutions such as drama club, debate club, marching band and drill team. Military preparatory schools also typically offer special programs to complement the core high school curriculum and give cadets the competitive edge necessary for success after graduation.
Youth Leadership Development
In the process of receiving a first-rate education, students at military schools receive peer leadership training and learn life skills that will prepare them to meet the challenges of adulthood and achieve their full potential. They are taught to cultivate good citizenship by becoming self-reliant, patriotic and good communicators. These leadership skills, in addition to many others that are cultivated and developed in military school, give cadets a leg up in life no matter what path they choose. It’s no surprise, then, that in the United Kingdom politicians like Stephen Twigg are pushing for the implementation of more military schools.
The belief of Mr. Twigg and other British politicians who support his views that more military schools will be of great benefit to any society is supported by research performed at the University of Southampton in Southampton, England. According to the report, “military cadets tend to have high levels of respect for authority and others, and high levels of self-esteem. They are likely to be committed citizens and have heightened aspirations.”
To learn more about the benefits of military school read the following:
How Military Schools Motivate Teens to Succeed
The Value of Attending Military School Infographic
Four Reasons To Choose a Military School Education
5 Life Lessons You Learn in Military School
Military Schools: MMA Can Make the Difference.
Unknown Advantages of Military Schools
Advantages Offered by Military Schools
Military Schools Are They a Good Choice?
Military School Alternative
It’s Not Your Fathers Military Academy
5 Common Myths About Military Schools
Marine Military Academy is an all-boys military boarding school located in Harlingen, Texas. If you think military school might be a good choice for you please contact us and talk with one of our counselors – Ph. 956-423-6006.