A little-known aspect of Common Core should have students worried about what goes on the dreaded "permanent record," say critics of the national education standard.
Parents in Pennsylvania have written outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett to demand a moratorium on the collection of what they describe as sensitive and personal information on students, which they say is part of a federal database to track the development of every child. And education activists around the nation say it is part and parcel of the controversial campaign to impose a uniform, national standard for math and English.
The process, set to play out throughout the country in what critics call a “womb to workplace” information system, was originally developed by the Department of Labor and contains information on every U.S. citizen under the age of 26. Most of the information on individuals is collected while K-12 students are in school, and includes names, grades and information such as personality traits, behavior patterns and even fingerprints. The state of Pennsylvania was one of the early adopters of the data mining and contributed to the framework for a nationwide program.
Both groups allege that any state entity as well as outside contractors can access personal information.
“The personally identifiable information includes information on every student’s personality, attitudes, values, beliefs, and disposition, a psychological profile called Interpersonal Skills Standards and anchors,” reads the letter sent to Corbett on Monday. “This data has been illegally obtained through deceptive means without the parents' knowledge or consent through screening, evaluations, testing, and surveys. These illegal methods of information gathering were actually fraudulently called ‘academic standards’ on the [Pennsylvania] Department of Education website portal.”
Anita Hoge, a member of Pennsylvanians Restoring Education, said local districts may have a need to collect some personal information, but a state or national database is a danger.
“There are two problems with sharing data beyond the local district,” she said. “First, parents are not aware that FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] regulations now allow their children's data (personally identifiable information) to be shared to outside third party vendors. And, this data is being collected and placed on a data system that is shared with the feds. This first level of data collection and sharing is a violation of privacy.”
“The second problem is that the data then becomes a ‘decision making model,’” she added. “This is where the violations of privacy are expanded for information to be used for ‘interventions.’ This is a civil rights violation.”
FOX owner Rupert Murdoch and his for-profit henchman Joel Klein want "womb-to-workforce" tracking of course - there's lots of money-making potential in it.
So it's interesting that a story about the "womb-to-workforce" data tracking with a negative frame shows up at Murdoch's FOX News.com.
This highlights the tension between the corporate masters looking to make billions from the privatization of education and the harvesting of student "data" with the need at the media level to make believe like they really don't want that stuff.
But of course they do - especially Klein, who has been touting data-tracking since he put his $95 million dollar ARIS boondoggle into place at the NYCDOE when he was chancellor.
Still, there's the need to look "populist" in Mr.. Murdoch's media - thus the anti-CCSS stories and now the data collection story with the negative frame at FOX News.
Doesn't mean the overall privatization strategy has changed any though at the corporate level - you can bet Murdoch, Klein and the rest of the merry reformsters at News Corporation still want top-down control, cradle-to-grave data tracking, complete standardization of curriculum and testing and the inevitable replacement of much that is human in the education system with technology.
It's just that that stuff doesn't play well with the FOX News audience.