Department of Education Surveillance of Student Attitudes   12 comments

The Department of Education is increasingly creepy.

There’s no other word for it. It’s as bad as any Orwellian-styled fiction. I say this without being in the least speculative– proof is published openly in the actual source documents coming out of the current Department of Education.

I invite you to scan over the Department of Education’s document entitled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance.”

This 126-page report was published four months ago by the Office of Educational Technology and the U.S. Department of Education.

The whole document is about student data mining– but not just the type of data mining we’ve talked about before, where math and English and a student’s personal name and address are the issues.

Here, the issue is having schools/governments collect data about a student’s will, character, beliefs and attitudes using multiple measures that go beyond standardized testing to physical control and measurement of the child, by eye tracking and nerve sensory devices.

On page 44, see exhibit 11. It shows how affective sensors are used in some areas to measure student “engagement”. You’ll see facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, a pressure mouse, and a wireless skin conductance sensor.

These are supposed to be good things?!

We see clearly that it is not enough for the “education reformers” to nationally control, via common standards and testing, the math and English teaching; they also desire to test, analyze and control, noncognitive individual attitudes.

How is freedom of thought, freedom of belief/attitude/religion, or freedom of expression, upheld by these “reforms” in any way?

The document also says:

“There is a growing movement to explore the potential of the “noncognitive” factors— attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability…”

Attitudes! Dispositions!

I re-read Orwell’s 1984 recently. Do you remember it? The main character lives in a world completely controlled by the government, which watches all citizens through virtually omnipresent screens and makes all citizens daily chant, with the same expressions on their faces– or else.

Of course he chanted with the rest: it was impossible to do otherwise. To dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction.”

In Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance, as in other documents and speeches promoted by the current administration, you will also see the marginalization of parents. Parents are not seen as the primary instructor and authority figure over the child. Parents are seen as just the supporting cast. They can play a role. They can support. They can be educated about governmental “best practices” to practice at home. Think I’m kidding?

From page xiv: “Conclusion 6: Parents and guardians can also play a direct and important role in promoting
their children’s grit, tenacity, and perseverance… Recommendation 6a: Parents may employ some of the research-based best practices at home as they work with their children around academic goals… Parents can also support children in structuring their home work
environments to support effortful control…
Recommendation 6b: Educators… should consider outreach to parents and guardians as an important support for
students… parents may need to be educated about best practices.

This goes right along with Obama’s Lean Forward campaign, where the video spokeswoman, Melissa Harris-Perry said, (see below) “We haven’t had a collective notion of ‘these are our children.’ We have to break through this kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents.”

Last I heard, our Utah State Office of Education was claiming that Utah’s Common Core tests (A.I.R.) will only test math and English, and will not test behavioral indicators, attitudes, grit or tenacity.

Do you believe it?

I wish I could.

But while the Department of Education is pushing behavioral indicator measurement, and while the testing company Utah has chosen to create its Common Core tests —American Institutes for Research— has a mission statement “to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation,” and while the Utah legislature has passed HB15, a bill that requires “behavior indicators” in school testing, and when Bill Gates, the main funder of all things Common Core, is promoting the merger of technology, games, education and biometric-psychometric control– when these forces combine, how can anyone still believe that all is well?

All is not well.

Parents, teachers and legislators must stand up, speak out, and not be quiet until we stop this erosion of individual rights.

If we don’t, who will?

12 responses to “Department of Education Surveillance of Student Attitudes

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  1. Do some research on the KIPP Character Report Card……another winner included in Promoting G, T, P.

  2. This was one of the documents I had in hand when speaking with my colleagues during a staff meeting. I was called an alarmist by my administrator and one teacher told me, surely, it’s just meant for learning how to create better tests…..not to be used on all children. Christel you statement, “All is not well”,is very true! It’s so frustrating to see parents that are very apathetic and think I am a rogue teacher. Most parents take a very passive approach…oh, it’s not bad, but if it gets bad, I’ll do something then! Protect your kids NOW rather than WAIT for something to happen first. It was so easy to sit in my classroom and teach my students and think…Oh, it won’t affect me, I won’t change….but it did and it will!

  3. Collectivists don’t see people as individuals, they see them as statistics. When they want to change outcomes, increasingly more state (gov’t) controls are applied until a desired result is achieved. Of course statistics can be easily manipulated as well. What gets applied to the collective…the proles….the masses…the great unwashed….WILL NOT apply to the ruling class (uber-rich Progressives like Gates & Buffett qualify as ‘ruling class’ along w/ DC policymakers). They (Ruling Class) are the ‘anointed’. Failures of their policies (and they ALWAYS fail) just mean more gov’t control & intrusion is to be placed on the collective. We are very near the point where the anointed are wholly removed and insulated from the policies they create for the unwashed. It’s not that they resent having their policies questioned, it’s that you don’t even have the right to question their policies.

    “One person dying is a tragedy. A million dead is a statistic.”
    – Josef Stalin – Collectivist

    • Well said, Buckeyedad.

      Like you, I see collectivism –communism– as the root of the new educational policies, regulations, data collection schemes, textbook rewritings, social justice lessons, global citizenship rhetoric, so-green-thinking agendas, and of course, of the Common Core. Either we locals are okay with communism, or we are not. There is no middle road. It is only a matter of recognition of facts.

  4. Re: Lean Forward Campaign (Harris-Perry) clip
    Our nation, then, has shifted from one of laws created by representative legislators into a phase of legislation from the courts. The next phase shift is to a nation where laws will be changed by simply overcoming quaint ‘notions’ of things like who a child belongs to. I can just imagine the birth announcements in the local paper: “today, the United States of America, in the city of ___ begat Michael, Rosanne, Alicia…”

  5. Reblogged this on Adamizer News.

  6. this is very telling information from the horses mouth. people need to see this and believe it. big data!!!! common core!

    • who is that guy? Is that David Coleman? Oh — seriously, I am sick to my stomach hearing him speak about his intent with our kids!

  7. In my book “On Character and Mental Toughness” (Amazon/B &N/Kindle) I define mental toughness as the ability to keep your character under pressure. I also define the core Mental Toughness traits. These are skills I teach on a daily basis. I have been a public school teacher and coach for over 20 years. These #grit traits transcend athletics and academics. When we discuss 21st century skills, this EVERY century skill that separates the victorious from the vanquished too often gets left out. I have seen so many kids, many dealing with horrid circumstances , achieve a great deal when they have had the opportunity to learn perseverance! This is a rising tide which will lift all of our students!-@coachbillmoore

  8. Pingback: Federal Control of Technology and Data: On “Internet Neutrality,”the ConnectEd Initiative, and SETRA | COMMON CORE

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  10. Pingback: U.S. Senator David Vitters’ Privacy Bill in Congress Can Protect Student Data | COMMON CORE

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