July 16 2014

More Common Core Personal Student Data Collection

Vicki E. Alger

Parents send their children to school to learn—not to have private information about them and their families collected and distributed to the highest bidder.

A few months ago one Nevada father was told he’d have to cough up $10,000 to be told what information his children’s school is providing to strangers thanks to Common Core data collection practices. Parents in Colorado are facing a similar dilemma, as Watchdog Wire reports:

Colorado school districts are collecting broad, detailed educational and psychological data on their students for use by private companies and the federal government, yet parental access to the same information remains limited and difficult to come by.

Local districts are giving parents the run-around and stalling, while the state Department of Education claims that it simply doesn’t have the ability to connect parents with their children’s data. …

Ft. Collins parent Cheri Kiesecker has written to the Colorado Dept of Education (CDE), which has said it cannot share data with parents. Dan Damagala, CDE’s CIO of Information Management Services, replied that, “The Colorado Department of Education does not have a mechanism for verifying parent/guardian relationships to students– and the release of student information to an unauthorized entity would be a violation of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).”

In other words, CDE is citing the very law intended to assure parents access to justify denying them that same access.

… every state adopting common core must join the testing consortia, either PARCC or SBAC. (Colorado chose PARCC). The consortia are required to “provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the state level” to the federal government.

… CDE creates the Golden Record of your child’s data and shares this with other vendors and agencies across the state and the country. Millions of personally identifiable data are stored in the Golden Record are shared with the Dept. of Corrections, Dept. of Labor, Social Services, and Higher Ed and the Federal government. The intent is to track children from pre-K through the workforce.

The data collected isn’t just about grades, much of it is psychological. Schools collect and share non-cognitive data by teacher observation, classroom video, digital programs, curriculum and tests taken on classroom computers. Ed tech companies are scrambling to compete in this multi-billion dollar digital market. Vendors are eager to get their hands on this lucrative data, as student data is a fast growing market.

Common Core was sold to parents as voluntary, rigorous academic standards. Turns out we’ve been sold a bill of goods—that taxpayers and students are paying for. Thankfully, parents who don’t want their children and families subjected to intrusive government and third-party snooping can opt out.

 

 

 

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