Parents and Educators Against Common Core Standards posted the following incredibly important video of this week’s “Information Security Review” of the US Department of Education which was led by Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz.
Please watch it.
Chaffetz opens the discussion (minutes 1-9) showing slides of the US Department of Education getting an “F” in protecting student data –with negative scores across every category. The students’ vulnerability, Rep Chaffetz says, is huge, not only students but for their parents, because of data collected, for example, in the National Student Loan Database which collects data that families fill out and submit together.
Next, Chaffetz says that the Dept. of Education is responsible for 4 billion dollars in improper payments (minute 8:30) which will be discussed in the next hearing in detail (not during this one).
After summarizing the mismanagement of funds and data, Chaffetz summarizes the gargantuan harms of the Department of Education: “It has become a monster, an absolute monster. We don’t know who’s in there; we don’t know what they’re doing.”
Then, the hearing begins.
Listen at minute 43 to minute 47. Those four minutes blew my mind. The US Dept. of Education’s representative, Dr. Harris, nervously skirts having to directly answer the question, at first, of how many databases it holds. It admits to three. The chairman says that it has at least 123, but if you count all of the data contractors, there are countless more. The only way that the Dept. of Education can say it only has three is by pretending that it is not responsible for, or does not subcontract out, the service, the questioner points out. And those high numbers of organizations collecting data for the US Dept. of Education mean a high probability that data will be compromised.
Meanwhile, most people believe that student data remains with the teacher and principal; those who do know that there’s a state/federal database believe that it’s a good thing; and they tell me that my opposition to permitting databases to stalk our kids is baseless, that the Utah State Office of Education does not release individual students’ information and that nonconsensual student data mining could never have a down side.