On Oct. 3, 2012 more than 100 colleges and universities signed on to a joint initiative to prepare educators for the unique needs of their military-connected students, Dr. Jill Biden announced. Dr. Biden, wife of the Vice President, is a ‘military mom’ has heard from many other military spouses who worry about the academic needs of their children. Many military children are forced to move and change schools 6 to 10 times before they graduate.
Biden said. “Through each transition, they are faced with leaving their friends and adjusting to new schools and new surroundings, all of which can affect a student’s opportunity to achieve academic success,” she said. “As a teacher, this issue is particularly close to my heart.”
Dr. Biden was joined by Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, who said he understands the challenges faced by military families — he moved his wife and children 24 times during his 36-year military career, causing his son and daughter to change schools during each year of high school.
The initiative, called “Operation Educate the Educators,” will help ensure positive experiences for military children, 80 percent of whom attend public schools, Gen. Odierno said. He added that “the social piece is perhaps the most important” to a child frequently changing schools. The initiative is co-sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Military Child Education Coalition.
As part of the initiative, participating colleges and universities implement guiding principles in their preparation programs and partner with schools that serve Kindergarten through Grade 12 students to ensure future educators have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of military-connected students.