by Lindalyn Kakadelis
Executive Director, North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools
Michelle Malkin’s commentary today talks about the massive database tracking that comes along with those states invested in the Common Core Standards.
These systems will aggregate massive amounts of personal data — health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status and even blood types and homework completion. The data will be available to a wide variety of public agencies. And despite federal student-privacy protections guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Obama administration is paving the way for private entities to buy their way into the data boondoggle. Even more alarming, the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging a radical push from aggregate-level data-gathering to invasive individual student-level data collection.
Another nonprofit startup, “inBloom, Inc.,” has evolved out of that partnership to operate the database. The Gates Foundation and other partners provided $100 million in seed money. Reuters reports that inBloom, Inc. will “likely start to charge fees in 2015” to states and school districts participating in the system. “So far, seven states — Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina and Massachusetts — have committed to enter data from select school districts. Louisiana and New York will be entering nearly all student records statewide.”
Looking at “inBloom, Inc’s” website, Guilford County Schools is the system used in our state. This website makes all of this data tracking sound so good, so innocent, and so protective. However, it also sounds like a national monopoly providing a “service.” Here is one quote from their website:
inBloom is bringing together states and districts from across the country to improve and align technology systems and teaching resources. There is no reason why each state should have to tackle this challenge alone – together, we have the potential to change the way education works for students on a large scale.
The “Statewide Longitudinal Data System,” which took off in 2009 with grants from the feds, can lend itself to a number of abuses. Do we really want the federal government tracking individuals from birth through to their participation in the work force?
Wonder if the parents of Guilford County know their children are being used as guinea pigs? Wonder what would happen if parents wanted to opt their child out of participating? Retuers reported:
Parents from New York and Louisiana have written state officials in protest. So have the Massachusetts chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and Parent-Teacher Association. If student records leak, are hacked or abused, “What are the remedies for parents?” asked Norman Siegel, a civil liberties attorney in New York who has been working with the protestors. “It’s very troubling.”
Meanwhile most parents have NO IDEA this is happening.