Ever since that dark day three years ago when I received a written response from the State Office of Education saying that the answer to my question was “No,” –NO to the question of whether a student could attend school to simply learn (as opposed to being tracked at school, as “human capital” by the state and federal SLDS and P-20w data mining systems, without parental consent or knowledge) –ever since that day, I’ve been on a quest to reclaim our basic constitutional freedom of privacy, the right to NOT be inventoried like merchandise of the state.
A lot of other people agree that privacy and freedom matter. But not all. The big money in big data is so big; data is the Gold Rush of our age, not to mention to big control issue “datapalooza movement” of our age, making it difficult to overpower the big data lobbyists and their giant piles of fat money that work very effectively against moms and dads and non-monied lobbyists and activists like you and me.
Twice, for example, a Utah state legislator has tried to run a privacy protection bill for Utah kids. Two years in a row it hasn’t even gotten close to getting off the ground in the Utah legislature. Seems that money and power talk more persuasively than children’s or family’s rights, even in Utah.
But today many organizations nationwide are joining to support and to push forward Louisiana Senator David Vitter’s congressional bill that returns control of education records to parents on the federal level. It’s big news. See Breitbart, The Hill, Truth in American Education.
The bill summary focuses on:
Rolling Back Department of Education Regulations:
- The Student Privacy Protection Act would reinstate FERPA’s original protections by clarifying who can access student data and what information is accessible. It also requires explicit authority for authorized representatives to conduct audits and evaluations of education programs. [This means that the robbery of parental consent from federal privacy law would be reinstated.]
Ensuring Parental Consent in All Cases
- The bill implements new, more robust guidelines, in order to protect student privacy, for schools and educational agencies to release education records to third parties, even in cases of recordkeeping.
- These entities will be required to gain prior consent from students or parents and implement measures to ensure records remain private. Further, educational agencies, schools, and third parties will be held liable for violations of the law through monetary fines.
Extending Privacy Protections to Home School Students
- FERPA does not currently apply to students who do not attend a traditional education institution, such as students who are homeschooled, despite some states requiring homeschoolers to file information with their school district.
- This bill extends FERPA’s protections to ensure records of homeschooled students are treated equally.
Limits Appending Data and Collection of Additional Information
- The bill prohibits educational agencies, schools, and the Secretary of Education from including personally identifiable information obtained from Federal or State agencies through data matches in student data.
- Federal education funds will be prohibited from being used to collect any psychological or behavioral information through any survey or assessment.
Organizations supporting Vitters’ privacy bill include:
- American Principles in Action
- Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee
- Eagle Forum
- Education Liberty Watch
- Home School Legal Defense Association
- Women on the Wall
- Special Ed Advocates to Stop Common Core
- Stop Early Childhood Common Core
- Arkansans for Education Freedom
- Arkansas Against Common Core
- The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition
- Florida Parents RISE
- The Tea Party Network
- Georgians to Stop Common Core
- Opt Out Georgia
- Idahoans for Local Education
- Hoosiers Against Common Core
- Iowa RestorEd
- Iowa for Student Achievement
- Kansans Against Common Core
- Louisiana Against Common Core
- Common Core Forum
- Stop Common Core Massachusetts
- Stop Common Core in Michigan, Inc.
- Minnesotans Against Common Core
- Missouri Coalition Against Common Core
- South Dakotans Against Common Core
- Tennessee Against Common Core
- Truth in Texas Education
- Truth in Catholic Education
- Utahns Against Common Core
- WV Against Common Core
- Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core
Please contact your state legislators, board members and congressional representatives in support of this bill.