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(Hattiesburg American)–A new report provides some disturbing news not only for our economy but also our military and the defense of the United States. The report, by The Education Trust, said nearly 25 percent of those who try to join the Army can’t pass its entrance exam. It’s an indictment not only of the nation’s education system but of the students and parents that recent high school graduates don’t have basic math, science and reading skills. The picture is even grimmer in Mississippi. Of the 5,138 Mississippians who applied to join the Army, 38 percent were ineligible. Fifty percent of the African American applicants in Mississippi failed the test.

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