Archive for the ‘parental consent’ Tag

My, What Big Data Teeth you have, Grandmother: An Open Letter to Utah Legislators   11 comments

Dear Utah Legislator,

I’m writing to you as a mother to ask you to put a stop to the use of Utah’s school systems as snooping agents on our children.

Corporate and federal partnerships and Utah state data systems and interstate partnerships now watch and track our children without anyone having asked for parental consent to do so.

Some Utah leaders are working hard to fortify privacy rights, I know. But many powerful organizations, departments and corporations are working hard to ignore, dismiss, or stop any efforts to defend student privacy– all with great intentions but absolutely without authority.

The result is a data collecting and sharing network that represents loss of parental authority and loss of individual privacy.

In recent years, Utah built and is now using a federally structured and paid-for ($9.6 M) State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) from which no parent is permitted to opt their child out.

This lack of liberty should be a red flag.

But few Utahns know that their child is being tracked and very few know that they can’t opt out of that tracking.

Fewer still know that there’s a Utah Data Alliance (UDA) that links K-12 data, collected by schools, with higher ed., with the State workforce and other agencies.

Utah’s UDA has agreed to use the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) State Core Model –which means all of our data will be interoperable and sharable across state lines. The PESC’s State Core Model aligns different states’ SLDS data systems so that they all match.

I am not saying that Utah agencies are sharing private data yet; I am saying that there’s nothing strong preventing them from doing so and that school systems are moving in the direction of more and more data commonality and disaggregation of student data. (see point 4 at that link.)

Countless entities have lined up with a “Data Quality Campaign” to make sure all their data points and technologies match, so that student information can be pooled.

Federal FERPA laws, previously protective of student data, have now been grossly loosened, and federal agencies including the NCES and the Department of Education, as well as White House events such as “Datapalooza” and White House Chiefs such as Joanne Weiss, are encouraging us to pool data, while (weakly) noting that student privacy is, of course, important. Yet proper protections are missing.

The Department of Education does a two-faced dance, asking for “robust data” and altering FERPA on the one hand, and insisting that they don’t even collect student data when speaking to the press. The U.S. Department of Education’s intentions are, however, revealed in the student-level data-sharing mandate in its cooperative testing agreements and in the contrast between what Secretary Arne Duncan says and does.

The PESC model was developed by the unelected, private trade group, CCSSO, as part of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) funded by the Gates Foundation. (CCSSO is the same private group that developed and copyrighted Common Core standards). The PESC Model, in its own definition, “includes early childhood, elementary and secondary, post-secondary, and workforce elements, known as “P20,” and establishes comparability between sectors and between states.”

PESC states that it “will do for State Longitudinal Data Systems what the Common Core is doing for Curriculum Frameworks and the two assessment consortia. The core purpose of an SLDS is to fulfill federal reporting…”

I find this alarming. You might find it hard to believe that Utah is lined up with it.

So here is the evidence:

The agreement is stated on page 4 of section 1 (page 20 on the PDF) of Utah’s 2009 ARRA Data Grant: “The UDA will adhere to standards such as the School Interoperability Framework (SIF), the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) and other XML schemas.”

Here is the PESC State Core Model abstract.

“1.0 Abstract

The State Core Model is a common technical reference model for states implementing state longitudinal data systems (SLDS). It was developed by CCSSO as part of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) adoption work with funding from the Gates Foundation…The State Core Model will do for State Longitudinal Data Systems what the Common Core is doing for Curriculum Frameworks and the two assessment consortia. The core purpose of an SLDS is to fulfill federal reporting (EDEN/EDFacts)…
The Model [can replace] 625 distinct Federal reporting types with record-level data collections.

… The Model is designed to address unique, complex P20 SLDS relationships, business rules, and entity factoring… It addresses student-teacher link, common assessment data model, and comes pre-loaded with Common Core learning standards.

The State Core Model consists of three principle artifacts… All three artifacts can be downloaded and used without charge or attribution from [the EIMAC group site].”

Data Baby

And, what is EIMAC? In case you hadn’t heard of EIMAC: it’s the branch of the CCSSO that “advocates on behalf of states to reduce data collection burden and improve the overall quality of the data collected at the national level.” Yes, they said that out loud. They collect data at the national level without authority nor any representation.

But, but– (we say) –Aren’t we protected by GEPA law and by the Constitution from any sort of “accountability” to federal agencies in educational matters or privacy matters including “unreasonable searches”?

Not if our legislators don’t defend these rights.

According to the PESC document, on page 5, we are drowning in “federal accountability”. There are at least 625 federal reports mentioned at PESC. A few include: http://www.pesc.org/library/docs/Common%20Data%20Standards/State%20Core%20Model%2011-17.pdf

EDEN – EDFacts 79 file types
CRDC – Civil Rights Data Collection 2 parts
SFSF – State Fiscal Stabilization Fund 33 indicators, 3 descriptors
MSRI – Migrant Student Records Exchange Initiative
CSPR – Consolidated State Performance Reports 191 Indicators
OSEP – Office of Special Education Programs 34 indicators
IPEDS – Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
CCD – Common Core Data (fiscal) Financial data collected in survey format
SDFSCA – Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Data are collected in CSPR
M-V – McKinney-Vento Collected through CSPR.
Perkins – Perkins Act
RTTT – Race to the Top N/A
TIF – Teacher Incentive Fund 6 Sections
N or D Annual Report of Neglected and Delinquent (N or D) Children Collected through CSPR”

—————–

To clarify: the document that signed us up for PESC is the Utah application for the ARRA grant for a SLDS database. (This document resulted in Utah receiving $9.6 million from the federal government, none of which was used for actual education, but only to build the student database (SLDS).)

That SLDS grant application talks about authorizing de-identification of data for research and it says that individuals will be authorized to access personal student information in the various Utah agencies that belong to UDA.

Who are these individuals? How many of them are there? Why does the UDA trust them with information that parents weren’t even told was being gathered on our children?

NON-COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DATA, TOO.

Starting at page 87, we read how non-cognitive behaviors that have nothing to do with academics, will be collected and studied by school systems.

These include “social comfort and integration, academic conscientiousness, resiliency, etc.” to be evaluated through the psychometric census known as the “Student Strengths Inventory. (SSI)”

The SSI inventory –your child’s psychological information– will be integrated into the system (SLDS) and there are plans to do this for earlier grades, but for now it’s for 11th and 12th graders. Demographic information is captured while administering the test and SSI data will be given to whomever it is assumed needs to see it. (This is not a parental decision but a state decision.)

INTEGRATING STUDENT PSYCHOMETRIC CENSUS DATA INTO THE SLDS SYSTEM:

The SLDS grant also promises to integrate our psychological data into the SLDS (that database which the feds paid for/pushed on us.)

“Utah’s Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance programs have substantial Student Education Occupation Plan, (SEOP) data, but they are not well integrated with other student data. With the introduction of UtahFutures and the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI) and its focus on noncognitive data, combining such data with other longitudinal student level data to the USOE Data
Warehouse
the UDA. Both the USOE (K-12) and the Postsecondary Outcomes and Data Needs
sub-sections will address these needs.”

(My, what big data collection teeth you have, Grandmother!The better to integrate you with, my dear.)

Next, on page 87 of the same grant, Utah’s application for the ARRA money, it says:

“… psychosocial or noncognitive factors… include, but are not limited to educational commitment, academic engagement and conscientiousness, social comfort and social integration, academic self-efficacy, resiliency… Until recently, institutions had to rely on standardized cognitive measures to identify student needs.
… We propose to census test all current student in grades 11 and 12 and then test students in grade 11 in subsequent years using the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI) – a measure of noncognitive attitudes and behaviors.”

So the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI) is a “psychometric census” to be taken by every 11th and 12th grade student in Utah. That’s how they’re gathering the psychological data.

But that’s not the only way psychological data is being taken in Utah schools. “Behavioral indicators” are also required to be collected by the Common Core tests, those math and English A.I.R. or SAGE tests, as Utah House Bill 15, aka the Common Core Computer Adaptive Testing Bill, demands.

What can we do?

markey images

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Edward Markey has taken action. He articulated his concerns on this subject in a letter to Secretary Arne Duncan. Other legislators around the nation are writing bills to take protective action for student privacy.

I hope all Utah legislators read Senator Markey’s letter, peruse the PESC and ARRA (SLDS) grant documents, look into the SSI surveys, study the machinations of Secretary Arne Duncan,and then take action to put an end to the unreined and ever-growing network of entities which collude for profit and for other, various control-related reasons, to dismiss the vital right of student privacy.

This would mean ending the “partnerships” by Utah with: the CCSSO, the Data Quality Campaign, the PESC State Model, the SLDS interoperability framework, the National Data Collection Model, the CEDS program of EIMAC; it would mean creating proper protections inside the Utah Data Alliance, and most of all, it would mean establishing permission from parents prior to any student SLDS surveillance.

Thank you.

Christel Swasey
Utah Mother

Advertisements

City on a Hill Radio Interview   3 comments

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cityonahill/2013/04/15/christel-swasey-against-common-core-so-should-all-parents

Here’s the link to today’s radio interview about Common Core at City on a Hill radio.

Secretary Arne Duncan: Reading, Writing and Redefining Terms   6 comments

Words are powerful.

Redefining words is risky business because the redefining can change everything.

One who knows this truth is our nation’s Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. He has a history of going out of his way to alter the definitions of words.  He did get the Department of Education sued  for doing this, but did anyone notice?

Okay. Let’s start paying attention.

Our U.S. Secretary of Education has officially redefined :

1) COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS.   Did you know that “college and career readiness” can now officially mean only one thing in American schools?  It only means having the same standards as other states.   Odd!   Check it out for yourself.

2) AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE – Did you know that an “authorized representative”  has been redefined by the Dept. of Education (without Congressional approval) to expand privacy exemptions that had previously protected student privacy under FERPA law?  And reinterpretations “remove affirmative legal duties for state and local educational facilities to protect private student data.”  Yes, the Dept. has been sued over this.    Yet, “authorized representative” can now mean anyone who wants to see student data, even “a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom an agency or institution has outsourced institutional services or functions…”  A volunteer can be “authorized” to see personally identifiable data without parental consent.

3) EDUCATION PROGRAM – Did you know that Sec. Duncan’s redefinition of “education program” now “includes, but is not limited to” early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, special education, job training, career and technical education, and adult education, “regardless of whether the program is administered by an educational authority.” That last part is almost funny.  But not.

4) DIRECTORY INFORMATION – Sec. Duncan made sure it would be allowable to “nonconsensually disclose a studentnumber or other unique personal identifier” and that directory information could include a name; address; telephone listing; electronic mail address; photograph; date and place of birth; major field of study; grade level; enrollment status,  dates of attendance; participation in activities and sports; weight and height; degrees, honors and awards received; and educational institution attended.

5) BIOMETRIC DATA –  in the Dept. of Education’s definition of “personally identifiable information,” biometric data means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting.  That one wins the creepy award.

But that’s not all.

When Sec. Duncan’s not redefining words to loosen parental consent law over student privacy, or siphoning off states’ sovereignty over their own testing systems, he’s giving speeches.

Whenever he’s not talking about social justice, he’s talking about international education.  Whenever he’s not talking about international education he’s talking about social justice.

Arne Duncan clearly wants schools to teach global  social justice.  But what does Sec. Duncan mean when he says  “global citizen” and  “social justice”?

“Global Citizen”

In his speech at International Education Week, Duncan praised globalist Sir Michael Barber, and glowingly used the terms: “global citizen,” being “internationally engaged” and “globally competent,” and playing on the “world stage”.  He never once said “United States citizen.”  –Why the omission?  And what is the cost of this omission to students who will grow up without learning to prize Americanism?

“Social Justice”

At a University of Virginia speech, Duncan said:  “Great teaching is about so much more than education; it is a daily fight for social justice.” 

At an IES research conference, he said: “The fight for quality education is about so much more than education. It’s a fight for social justice.” 

To the average American, “global citizenry” and “social justice” might sound like positive things.  But look them up.  “Global citizenship” ultimately submits American citizenship and sovereignty to a global collective.

And social justice means governmentally-enforced financial equality; it means wealth and property redistribution.  We are not talking about philanthropy, compassionate, voluntary giving.  We are talking about force.

George Washington explained:  “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a  dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

Teachers for social justice are to be  “change agents” to engrain principles of “social justice” to their young captive audiences.  Such children are taught that “justice” means government can and should “redistribute the wealth.”  –But how do you re-something if you haven’t done it in the first place; government bureaucrats didn’t give us land or money, so they can’t re-give it; they can only take it.  They can only negate individual financial status by assigning one person’s money or assets to another, by force.

Yes, by force.

So, how well are teachers and school districts following the advice of the Secretary of Education and “teaching for social justice“?

Teacher’s colleges are pushing it.  Parents –at least in some places– are fighting it.  Even our local school district  has a vision statement that says: “We believe in enculturating the young in a social and political democracy.”

At  http://www.radicalmath.org/ for example, you’ll find hundreds of lesson plans for teachers to teach “social justice” (which is redistribution of property and money) to math students.

There are endless books and lesson plan websites prodding teachers to use social justice in their lesson planning.

      

An unfortunate fact is that most teachers simply don’t know that social justice is not a neutral term; at least, it is not neutral in the way that Arne Duncan, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, and other renowned promoters of the phrase, use it.

One of the leaders in “Teaching Social Justice,”  William “Bill” Ayers, a former domestic terrorist, explained (see video below) at a New York University “Change the Stakes” meeting that the Left should use schools to promote a left wing agenda. He said, “If we want change to come, we would do well not to look at the sites of power we have no access to– the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon,” but added, “We have absolute access to the community, the school, the neighborhood, the street, the classroom…”

Such shamelessly biased promotion of left-wing idealogy is, sadly, what most “social justice” books and lesson plans teach.

Parents, read your children’s textbooks.  Tell your school that you want to start a parents’ review committee to study school texts before they are adopted.  If we sit idly by, the “teachers for social justice” who wish to indoctrinate our children into an overtly socialist/communist idealogy will absolutely get their way.

 

J.R. Wilson: Parents Need to Know About Student Data Privacy   1 comment

J.R. Wilson gave me permission to repost http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/jr-wilson-parents-need-to-know-about-student-data-privacy/ this article in full.

He added:   “Within a few days of finishing this article and it being published at Education Week I happened across some additional information.  I found an article that stated that three pieces of information can uniquely identify an individual 87% of the time—-those three pieces of data—-gender, five-digit zip code, and birth date.  You can bet that information is in the SLDS.  Wouldn’t that constitute personally identifiable information?”

Parents Need to Know About Student Data Privacy

 

 

Trusting Parents

When enrolling or filling out forms during the school year, parents give schools personal information about themselves and their child. A school employee enters the information into the school office computer.  No thought is given to this since computers are a good way to store, organize, and manage data. Most parents don’t realize the data doesn’t stay In the school office computer.  The computer is networked and shares data with other computers. This information or data once it is entered becomes a part of a district or multi-district database that is uploaded to a state longitudinal data system at least once a month.

Are parents informed this is happening with personal information they provide?  Are parents asked permission, or consent, for their information to become part of a database beyond the confines and use of the brick and mortar school?  Should parents be made aware of this practice?  Should they be required to give consent?

State Longitudinal Data Systems, Purposes, and Prohibition

The state longitudinal data systems are for preschool through grade 12 education and post secondary education or P-16.  Basically, states are collecting data on all preschool through grade 16 individuals.  It is interesting to note for the purposes of data collection, the “P” for preschool means birth to school.  They want to collect data from the time of birth through an individual’s career.

Federal legislation calls for the collection of data to include:

  • gender,
  • ethnic or racial groups,
  • limited English proficiency status,
  • migrant students,
  • disabilities,
  • economically disadvantaged,
  • assessment results,
  • demographics,
  • student-level enrollment,
  • program participation,
  • courses completed,
  • student transcript information,
  • transfers, teachers,
  • family income.

Will state longitudinal data systems collect data beyond what is called for in legislation?  What is the purpose of the data collection?  How will it be used?  What will be next?  Collecting prenatal data?  The pre-conception gleam in the eye data?  In addition to the state longitudinal data systems containing far more information on students, parents, and teachers than necessary for educational purposes, I believe the system will eventually include information on all taxpayers with or without kids (twowks) so they may be held adequately accountable for how others spend their hard earned tax dollars.

There has been a push for state longitudinal data systems for many years. As early as 1965, the initial Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) mentions providing support for collecting and storing data and using automated data systems.  Federal legislation and programs encourage or require data collection systems and the development of state longitudinal data systems. These include:

  • Goals 2000
  • Educate America Act
  • Improving America’s Schools Act
  • No Child Left Behind
  • America Competes Act
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Race to the Top.  (see sidebar)

Each state has a State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) and names their SLDS a little differently to suit their own creativity.  As an example, Oregon has Project ALDER:  Advancing Longitudinal Data for Educational Reform and Washington has CEDARS:  Comprehensive Education Data and Research System.

The early stated purposes for data collection was to determine things like graduation rates, job placement rates, and program effectiveness.  The Race to the Top created mandates for data systems to be used to inform decisions and improve instruction.  While this is laudable, it is questionable as the driving need for data collection. An abundance of available data and research findings has been ignored in the reform education decision-making process. Many reform measures being pushed from the federal level on down have no evidence of effectiveness–some have evidence of negative effectiveness — yet continue to be foisted upon the states and local districts to implement.  Are our decision makers Confusing Evidence and Politics?  Do they really have our students’ academic interest as a top priority?  Does anyone know how to make effective decisions based on this information?  Will the information be so overwhelming as to be useless except for cherry picking to support pet programs?  Who will benefit most?  Our students?  Private corporations?  Non-profit corporations?  Individuals and groups in positions of power and authority?

Our society’s moral and ethical values may have slipped to the point that individuals and groups in positions of power and authority feel it is appropriate to publicly release information that most people feel is confidential.  Recently, state officials in Oklahoma posted private educational records of several students online.  This information may not have come from their state longitudinal data system but think of the control and power such information provides, especially if one is able to personally identify individuals.  When big brother has the informational goods on the public, are people likely to speak up or will they maintain a cautious place in line?

There is a prohibition on the development of a nationwide database of personally identifiable information (PII).  The Act that created No Child Left Behind says:

PROHIBITION ON NATIONWIDE DATABASE.

‘‘Nothing in this Act (other than section 1308(b)) shall be construed to authorize the development of a nationwide database of personally identifiable information on individuals involved in studies or other collections of data under this Act. 20 USC 7911.

Does that mean it is okay to develop a nationwide database provided no personally identifiable information is used?  It appears the federal government is dancing around the issue of developing a nationwide database.  While the federal government is not developing it, they are supporting, promoting, encouraging, and funding with tax dollars the development of state longitudinal data systems.  An effort, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is well underway, with federal encouragement, to have the state longitudinal data systems compatible for data sharing between and among states.  This effort will result in a defacto nationwide database.

The Data Quality Campaign’s report Data for Action 2011 Empower with Data indicates no states having all 10 Essential Elements of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems in place in 2005.  In 2011 every state had at least 7 of the 10 Elements in place and thirty-six states had all 10 Elements in place.

The Data Quality Campaign lists the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) among its Partners.  The NGA and the CCSSO joined efforts in an initiative to develop the Common Core State Standards and shares some of the same partners.  Both the Data Quality Campaign and Common Core State Standards Initiative have been supported with grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (see 1, 2, 3).  The Common Core State Standards has provided investors and entrepreneurs with a lucrative market place.  Besides the technology industry and service industry, who stands to financially gain from the Data Quality Campaign and the state longitudinal data systems?

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) are working to Promote the Voluntary Adoption of a Model of Common Data Standards and say:

The U.S. Department of Education will facilitate the leveraging, and where needed, the development of model common data standards for a core set of student-level variables to increase comparability of data, interoperability and portability of data, and reduce collection burden.

Funding for State Longitudinal Data Systems

Leveraging Federal Funding for Longitudinal Data Systems – A Roadmap for States shows some federal programs encouraging states to use funds for longitudinal data systems.  These programs include Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants Program, Race to the Top, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C, Carl D. Perkins and Technical Education Act of 2006, Title I, Teacher Incentive Fund, Striving Readers Program, Child Care and Development Block Grant, Workforce Data Quality Initiative, Workforce Innovation Fund, and the Workforce Investment Act.

It is difficult to determine how much taxpayer money states have spent on longitudinal data systems.  As indicated above, there are numerous sources of funds available.  The Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants Program does show how much grant money has been awarded to each state from their program.  Since 2006 over $612 million has been awarded with $254 million of that in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (stimulus) funds.  Information from this program’s website has been compiled into a table showing amounts each state has been awarded.

Personally Identifiable Information, Data Mining and Matching, and Security Breaches

State longitudinal data systems are not to permit students to be individually identified by users of the system.  What about abusers of the system?  Data from state longitudinal data systems can be matched with data from other databases enabling the identification of individuals no matter how much effort is put into keeping personally identifiable information (PII) out of the state longitudinal data systems.  Records can be matched by identifying overlapping data.

With the ability to match data enabling the identification of individuals it is reasonable to think this data may find its way into the hands of data brokers and database marketers like Acxiom Corporation who may mine, analyze, refine, and sell the data.  While we may laugh at the Ordering Pizza in 2015 video, it hits real close to reality.

Eventually, whether for sport, competition, or profit, hackers will compromise the state longitudinal data systems.  Perhaps they already have been exploiting these systems and the public and parents are never informed it is taking place.  Below is a notice that I have written and which I believe should be provided to parents and all of the media.  For obvious reasons it never will.

We have discovered that our state longitudinal data system servers were attacked, resulting in a security breach. The hackers were able to access information on all students, parents and teachers in the state. Our team has worked to secure the state longitudinal data system against this type of attack from recurring.

Please understand that we are under no obligation to inform you that sensitive data about the students, parents, and teachers in the state has been accessed and copied by unauthorized and unknown individuals.  Since our data system contains no personally identifiable information you should comfortably know we assume no liability for any damages resulting from the hacker’s ability to personally identify individuals by matching overlapping information with other database information for which we have no control.

We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. Should you find the consequences of this security breach to be devastating to your life, we suggest you consider assuming another identity and start a new life.  Should you wish to exercise this option, for a fee we can assist you in this effort.  We take the security of our data seriously and can assure you we are taking measures to protect the system from this kind of breach until it happens again, at which time we will simply send you another message similar to this one reassuring you there is nothing to be concerned about.

J.R. Wilson is a parent and an education advocate with 25+ years experience in public education as an elementary teacher, curriculum consultant, staff development coordinator, and principal.

This article was originally published August 27, 2012 on EducationNews.com at

http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/jr-wilson-parents-need-to-know-about-student-data-privacy/ and is republished here with permission from the author.

References

A Blueprint for Reform The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, United States Department of Education, March 2010

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/blueprint/blueprint.pdf

A Statement of Common Purpose:  Chief State School Officers and State Higher Education Executives Promote the Voluntary Adoption of a Model of Common Data Standards

http://www.pesc.org/library/docs/Common%20Data%20Standards/1-CDS-StatementofPurpose.pdf

“America COMPETES Act’’ or the ‘‘America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act” of 2007

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-110s761es/pdf/BILLS-110s761es.pdf

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ5/pdf/PLAW-111publ5.pdf

CEDARS:  Comprehensive Education Data and Research System

http://www.k12.wa.us/CEDARS/default.aspx

Confusing Evidence and Politics, Jay P. Greene’s Blog

http://jaypgreene.com/2012/08/13/confusing-evidence-and-politics/

Data for Action 2011 Empower with Data, Data Quality Campaign

http://dataqualitycampaign.org/files/DFA2011%20Annual%20Report.pdf

 

Data Cleaning: Problems and Current Approaches

http://wwwiti.cs.uni-magdeburg.de/iti_db/lehre/dw/paper/data_cleaning.pdf

Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (P.L. 89-10)

Page 49 of Public Law 89-10  April 11, 1965

http://www.nctic1p.org/files/40646763.pdf

Goals 2000: Educate America Act (P.L. 103-227) MAR. 31, 1994

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-103hr1804enr/pdf/BILLS-103hr1804enr.pdf

Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-103hr6enr/pdf/BILLS-103hr6enr.pdf

Leveraging Federal Funding for Longitudinal Data Systems – A Roadmap for States

http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/fedfunding/

Project ALDER:  Advancing Longitudinal Data for Educational Reform

http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3414

PUBLIC LAW 107–110—JAN. 8, 2002, An Act To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ110/pdf/PLAW-107publ110.pdf

Race to the Top

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/fact-sheet-race-top

You for Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/technology/acxiom-the-quiet-giant-of-consumer-database-marketing.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&hp

Select Legislative and Program Encouragement and Requirements for State Longitudinal Data Systems

There has been a push for these longitudinal data systems for many years.  The 1965 Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (P.L. 89-10) in Section 503 (a) on page 49 says:

(2) providing support or services for the comprehensive and compatible recording, collecting, processing, analyzing, interpreting, storing, retrieving, and reporting of State and local educational data, including the use of automated data systems;

The Goals 2000: Educate America Act in 1994 says:

(d) DATA COLLECTION SYSTEM.—In the development and design of a system to provide data on graduation or completion rates, job placement rates from occupationally specific programs, licensing rates, and awards of high school graduate equivalency diplomas (GED), each State board for higher education shall develop a data collection system the results of which can be integrated into the occupational information system developed under this section.

Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, which was a reauthorization of ESEA, says:

(v) provides for the collection of data on the achievement and assessment results of students disaggregated by gender, major ethnic or racial groups, limited English proficiency status, migrant students, and by children with disabilities as compared to other students, and by economically disadvantaged students as compared to students who are not economically disadvantaged;

and

(1) INGENERAL.—The Secretary may collect such data, as necessary, at the State, local, and school levels and conduct studies and evaluations, including national studies and evaluations, to assess on an ongoing basis the effectiveness of programs under this title and to report on such effectiveness on a periodic basis.

PUBLIC LAW 107–110—JAN. 8, 2002, An Act To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind says:

B) USE OF ASSESSMENTS.—Each State educational agency may incorporate the data from the assessments under this paragraph into a State-developed longitudinal data system that links student test scores, length of enrollment, and graduation records over time.

 

‘‘(D) DATA.—A local educational agency or school shall only include in its annual local educational agency report card data that are sufficient to yield statistically reliable information, as determined by the State, and that do not reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student.

 

SEC. 9531. PROHIBITION ON NATIONWIDE DATABASE.

‘‘Nothing in this Act (other than section 1308(b)) shall be construed to authorize the development of a nationwide database of personally identifiable information on individuals involved in studies or other collections of data under this Act. 20 USC 7911.

“America COMPETES Act’’ or the ‘‘America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act” of 2007

(2) GRANTS FOR STATE WIDE P–16 EDUCATION DATA SYSTEMS.—

 (A) ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM.—Each State that receives a grant under subsection (c)(2) shall establish a statewide P–16 education longitudinal data system that— (i) provides each student, upon enrollment in a public elementary school or secondary school in the State, with a unique identifier, such as a bar code, that— (I) does not permit a student to be individually identified by users of the system; and (II) is retained throughout the student’s enrollment in P–16 education in the State; and (ii) meets the requirements of sub-paragraphs (B) through (E).

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

(3) IMPROVING COLLECTION AND USE OF DATA.—The State will establish a longitudinal data system that includes the elements described in section 6401(e)(2)(D) of the America COMPETES Act (20 U.S.C. 9871).

 

(D) REQUIRED ELEMENTS OF A STATE WIDE P16 EDUCATION DATA SYSTEM.—The State shall ensure that the statewide P–16 education data system includes the following elements: (i) PRESCHOOL THROUGH GRADE 12 EDUCATION AND POST SECONDARY EDUCATION.—With respect to preschool through grade 12 education and postsecondary education— (I) a unique statewide student identifier that does not permit a student to be individually identified by users of the system; (II) student-level enrollment, demographic, and program participation information; (III) student-level information about the points at which students exit, transfer in, transfer out, drop out, or complete P–16 education programs; (IV) the capacity to communicate with higher education data systems; and  (V) a State data audit system assessing data quality, validity, and reliability. (ii) PRESCHOOLTHROUGHGRADE12 EDUCATION.—With respect to preschool through grade 12 education— (I) yearly test records of individual students with respect to assessments under section 1111(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)); (II) information on students not tested by grade and subject; (III) a teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students; (IV) student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and grades earned; and (V) student-level college readiness test scores.

The Race to the Top emphasized:

Supporting data systems that inform decisions and improve instruction, by fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system, assessing and using data to drive instruction, and making data more accessible to key stakeholders.

A Blueprint for Reform The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, United States Department of Education, March 2010

To foster public accountability for results and help focus improvement and support efforts, states must have data systems in place to gather information that is critical to determining how schools and districts are progressing in preparing students to graduate from high school college- and career-ready. States and districts will collect and make public data relating to student academic achievement and growth in English language arts and mathematics, student academic achievement in science, and if states choose, student academic achievement and growth in other subjects, such as history. At the high school level, this data will also include graduation rates, college enrollment rates, and rates of college enrollment without need for remediation. All of these data must be disaggregated by race, gender, ethnicity, disability status, English Learner status, and family income. States and districts also will collect other key information about teaching and learning conditions, including information on school climate such as student, teacher and school leader attendance; disciplinary incidents; or student, parent, or school staff surveys about their school experience.

 

State-level data systems that link information on teacher and principal preparation programs to the job placement, student growth, and retention outcomes of their graduates.

Data Quality Campaign

10 Essential Elements of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems

  • A unique statewide student identifier that connects student data across key databases across years
  • Student-level enrollment, demographic, and program participation information
  • The ability to match individual students’ test records from year to year to measure academic growth
  • Information on untested students and the reasons they were not tested
  • A teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students
  • Student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and grades earned
  • Student-level college readiness test scores
  • Student-level graduation and dropout data
  • The ability to match student records between the preK-12 and higher education systems
  •    A state data audit system assessing data quality, validity and reliability

10 State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use

  • Link state K-12 educational data systems with early learning, postsecondary education, workforce, social services and other critical agencies
  • Create stable, sustained support for robust state longitudinal data systems
  • Develop governance structures to guide data collection, sharing, and use
  • Build state data repositories (e.g., data warehouses) that integrate student, staff, financial, and facility data
  • Implement systems to provide all stakeholders with timely access to the information they need while protecting student privacy
  • Create progress reports with individual student data that provide information educators, parents, and students can use to improve student performance
  • Create reports that include longitudinal statistics on school systems and groups of students to guide school-, district-, and state-level improvement efforts
  • Develop a purposeful research agenda and collaborate with universities, researchers, and intermediary groups to explore the data for useful information
  • Implement policies and promote practices, including professional development and credentialing, to ensure educators know how to access, analyze, and use data appropriately
  •   Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data and ensure that all key stakeholders, including state policymakers, know how to access, analyze, and use the information

Data for Action 2011 Empower with Data, Data Quality Campaign

http://dataqualitycampaign.org/files/DFA2011%20Annual%20Report.pdf

States make gains in building data systems

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2011/02/21/states-make-gains-in-building-data-systems/

No Real and Certain Rights for Parents in U.N. Treaty Text   Leave a comment

 Compiled by LeNell Heywood

“Children are treated much, much better in the special needs setting whenever their parents have real and certain rights. Those rights are gone if this Senate ratifies this treaty.”

— Michael Farris

 

From Concerned Women for America

http://www.cwalac.org/printer_1189.shtml

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a treaty that undermines U.S. sovereignty. Despite its name, it does little to advance the needs of people with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will surrender American power into the hands of a foreign entity.


Overview:

  • Americans with disabilities are already protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.
  • America is already the leading example for the world, providing freedom and justice for persons with disabilities.
  • Advocates of the Treaty argue that if the U.S. signs on it will send a strong message to other countries to do the same.
  • Those opposed to the Treaty understand the error of signing onto a Treaty where U.S. power is emasculated.

 

Excerpts from Michael Farris’ address to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

http://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/REVISED_Michael_Farris_Testimony.pdf

The way for the United States to continue to lead the world in this area is to ensure that American law and practice live up to the promises of the Declaration of Independence rather than the amorphous standards of a committee of 18 experts in Geneva.

 

The UNCRPD follows the trend of the second generation of human rights treaties which promote the idea that government, not parents, have the ultimate voice in decisions concerning their children.

 

Early human rights instruments were very supportive of the rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.

 

All of the rights that parents have under both traditional American law and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will be undermined by this treaty.

 

Children are treated much, much better in the special needs setting whenever their parents have real and certain rights.

 

Those rights are gone if this Senate ratifies this treaty.

 

Americans should make the law for America—we do not need a committee of experts in Geneva to look over our shoulders to help us determine what kind of policy we need to best protect Americans with special needs and disabilities.

 

It was American self-government and not international law that led to the significant advancements that this nation has seen in the appropriate law and policies concerning persons with disabilities.

 

International law has no track record of success that could lead any reasonable person to believe that international law would have any claim of superiority over American self-government.

 

We should pass whatever laws we need to ensure proper policies and practices for Americans with disabilities. But we should not give away our policy prerogatives to the superintendence of a committee of UN experts sitting in Geneva.

 

Treaty Text:

http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

Be aware that the UN has its own language. Reading these documents having never read them before might not raise any red flags. We know from experience how the mere mention of treating people equally, especially in “developing nations” can mean a mandate to the wealthy nations to redistribute their funds to those nations, either through more foreign aid (hidden international tax) or through a direct international tax, which has been on the table for some time.

 

UT Senator Mike Lee is trying to stop this! Please thank him! UT Senator Hatch voted yes on the Motion to Proceed after committing to Senator Lee that he would vote no. Senator Hatch needs to hear from you. 

The vote for ratification is tomorrow.

 

Please read this information and contact your U.S. Senators today (number and locator link below) and pass it on. The vote will take place tomorrow at noon.

 

Ask them to oppose UNCRPD (U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

 

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

 

Find your senators here:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

—————————————————————————-

The author of this blog thanks LeNell Heywood for compiling this information.

2012 FTC Alert: To Prevent Child Identity Theft at School   2 comments

FTC Consumer Alert:Protect Your Child’s Personal Information at School

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt056.shtm

First, here are a few bullet points for readers in a hurry:

  • children whose identities have been stolen usually don’t find out until they are adults.
  • parents have the right to opt out of allowing schools to share child data with third parties.
  • if you don’t put your opt-out request in writing at your school, the general public may have access to your child’s private information
  • parents have the right to see surveys and instructional materials before they are handed out to students
  • you have the right to ask to see your child’s records and to correct errors in them.

The following FTC Consumer Alert from August 2012 is reposted in full below.

FTC Consumer Alert

Protecting Your Child’s Personal Information at School

Back to school — an annual ritual that includes buying new notebooks, packing lunches, coordinating transportation, and filling out forms: registration forms, health forms, permission slips, and emergency contact forms, to name a few. Many school forms require personal and, sometimes, sensitive information. In the wrong hands, this information can be used to commit fraud in your child’s name. For example, a child’s Social Security number can be used by identity thieves and other criminals to apply for government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, cautions that when children are victims of identity theft, the crime may go undetected for years — or at least until they apply for a job, a student loan or a car loan, or want to rent an apartment.

Limiting the Risks of Identity Theft

There are laws that help safeguard your child’s and your family’s personal information. For example, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, protects the privacy of student education records. It also gives parents of school-age kids the right to opt-out of sharing contact or other directory information with third parties, including other families.

If you’re a parent with a child who’s enrolled in school, the FTC suggests that you:

  • find out who has access to your child’s personal information,and verify that the records are kept in a secure location.
  • pay attention to materials sent home with your child, through the mail or by email, that ask for personal information. Look for terms like “personally identifiable information,” “directory information,” and “opt-out.” Before you reveal any personal information about your child, find out how it will be used, whether it will be shared, and with whom.
  • read the annual notice schools must distribute that explains your rights under FERPA. This federal law protects the privacy of student education records, and gives you the right to:
    • inspect and review your child’s education records;
    • consent to the disclosure of personal information in the records; and
    • ask to correct errors in the records.
  • ask your child’s school about its directory information policy. Student directory information can include your child’s name, address, date of birth, telephone number, email address, and photo. FERPA requires schools to notify parents and guardians about their school directory policy, and give you the right to opt-out of the release of directory information to third parties. It’s best to put your request in writing and keep a copy for your files. If you don’t opt-out, directory information may be available not only to the people in your child’s class and school, but also to the general public.
  • ask for a copy of your school’s policy on surveys. The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) gives you the right to see surveys and instructional materials before they are distributed to students.
  • consider programs that take place at the school but aren’t sponsored by the school. Your child may participate in programs, like sports and music activities, that aren’t formally sponsored by the school. These programs may have web sites where children are named and pictured. Read the privacy policies of these organizations, and make sure you understand how your child’s information will be used and shared.
  • take action if your child’s school experiences a data breach. Contact the school to learn more. Talk with teachers, staff, or administrators about the incident and their practices. Keep a written record of your conversations. Write a letter to the appropriate administrator, and to the school board, if necessary.

File a complaint

You may file a written complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920, and keep a copy for your records.

For More Information

To learn more about child identity theft and how to deal with its consequences, read Safeguarding Your Child’s Future or visit ftc.gov/idtheft.

You may have additional rights under state law: contact your local consumer protection agency or your state attorney general for details.

About the FTC

The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a <a href=”https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/&#8221; data-mce-href=”https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/”>complaint</a&gt; or get <a href=”/bcp/consumer.shtm” data-mce-href=”/bcp/consumer.shtm”>free information on consumer issues</a>, visit <a href=”http://ftc.gov/&#8221; data-mce-href=”http://ftc.gov/”>ftc.gov</a&gt; or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a video, <span style=”text-decoration: underline;” data-mce-style=”text-decoration: underline;”><a href=”/multimedia/video/scam-watch/file-a-complaint.shtm” data-mce-href=”/multimedia/video/scam-watch/file-a-complaint.shtm”>How to File a Complaint</a></span>, at <a href=”/video” data-mce-href=”/video”>ftc.gov/video</a> to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the <a href=”/sentinel/” data-mce-href=”/sentinel/”>Consumer Sentinel Network</a>, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Control Over Education: More of the Debate Between Professor Wiley and Me   Leave a comment

David Wiley says:

July 21, 2012 at 2:39 am

Christel,

Let me start by saying thanks to you as well. I think this conversation has been extra-ordinarily civil, despite our obvious differences of opinion. In today’s political realm, I can think of nothing more important than civility in discourse. So much of what could be productive dialog is reduced to worse than time-wasting shouting. I am genuinely grateful for your obvious passionate – yet polite – engagement around this topic.

I would disagree that my argument has been that ‘because research is supremely helpful in making improvements to education, anything that stands in the way of gathering research is reduced to optional/unimportant.’ I have argued for the importance of research in improving education, and I have argued for the importance of the exceptions to FERPA – which are clearly limited.

The study exemption FERPA governs schools initiating research and evaluation of their own programs – in other words, a school or district that wants to study itself. If a school district doesn’t have sophisticated research expertise in-house (and given today’s budgets – how could they afford to?), under the study exemption they are permitted to engage outside expertise in the process of conducting that research. Those outside experts may be contractors, consultants, or volunteers. And they can conduct this research without having to ask parents’ permission first. That seems wholly appropriate to me.

You suggest that “researchers should shoulder the inconvenience of getting parental/individual consent” before any research can be done. If the researcher has come to the school and proposed the work, this is exactly what would have to happen. And the research rarely occurs because too few parents engage in meaningful tasks like helping their child with homework, let alone signing a research consent form. And if these researchers can’t persuade enough parents to consent the research won’t happen, which is perhaps as it should be.

But when a school asks, “We want to understand how we can serve our students better – Ms. Research Expert, will you please help us?” Then under the exception a strict written contract is executed governing what data Ms. R. E. can and cannot see and what she can and cannot do with that data. Now that she is under contract, she is treated like other employees because she is subject to similar contractual obligations. And those obligations are what make “employees” in the first place.

I agree that must act ethically. And I ask, which is more ethical – prohibiting students from achieving more of their potential by prohibiting research that would facilitate that fulfillment? Or providing all individuals who are appropriately and contractually obligated to protect PII with access to PII for the reasons specified in their contracts?

The USOE has been holding public meetings about Common Core literally for years now, asking for community feedback and listening carefully to all opinions expressed. Some of that feedback has been critical, some of it has been supportive. Regardless of which path they choose to follow, they were certain to disappoint a large portion of their constituency. I’m genuinely sorry that you feel they have made the wrong choice. If they had rejected the Common Core, I’m sure I would have felt the same overwhelming sense of frustration and disappointment that I expect you feel because of their adoption of it.

While I can’t speak on behalf of the USOE, I would guess that if they seem unexcited by the idea of holding yet another hearing on these issues, it is because they have already held so many of them and have heard the arguments for and against repeated so many times in these meetings and other settings (op-eds, blog posts, Facebook comments, etc.) that they can recite – and explain – each of the pro and con arguments from memory. This does not mean that they are anti-transparency or anti-public input. But once you’ve heard all the arguments a dozen or more times, there is simply no “gaining the public’s input” function served by convening yet another meeting. The USOE has a clear obligation to obtain and consider public input, but that obligation does not mean that meetings must continue to be held quarterly as long as a portion of the constituency disagrees with their decision.

I believe the record of open public meetings (which was reviewed at length in the most recent public meeting on Common Core) provided ample opportunity for these decisions to be made with meaningful public vetting from 100% of schoolchildrens’ parents. The fact is that – even when you and I run around the state talking to everyone we can get our hands on – people don’t engage. I agree with you, that most parents in Utah still don’t even know what Common Core is nor what FERPA is about. But it is only partly up to people like me (and you!) to right this wrong. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You and I can cry from the rooftops about how important this issue is, but parents have the agency to choose to ignore us. And they have largely exercised that agency to choose apathy. If, as you say 99% of them won’t engage over something this important, what prayer do we have of them ever signing a research consent form? =)

Finally, please do mistakenly believe that my views represent those of the David O. McKay School of Education or BYU. I am not a spokesman for either, and there are people in both the MSE and broader BYU communities who agree with your point of view (perhaps more than would agree with me). I am simply a person who supports the Common Core, and finds great pleasure in constructive dialog with people with other opinions.

Reply

  • Professor Wiley,

    It is simply not true that the state has “provided ample opportunity” for meaningful public vetting.  There has never been a single hearing on Common Core.  There has never been a public vote. The one forum held by USOE at Granite School District last spring was dominated by the pro-Common Core side with a forty-five minute intro, after which some individuals from both sides, pro and con, were given time to say a few sentences each.

    A pitiful minority of teachers and parents even know what the term fully means.  Even teachers do not know that we aren’t free to change these standards; we have given up our authority over educational standards decision making and testing as we’ve agreed to nationalize our local system.

    This was not fair public vetting.  Common Core’s implementation and purpose is education without representation– both in the disregard you and other Common Core advocates show for parental involvement and consent, and also in the fact that Common Core standards are copyrighted and can therefore never be challenged by parents or by anyone at all.  We can’t even remove the personnel and administrators of Common Core by a vote. How un-American is that?!

    A recent poll done by Achieve, Inc. (ironically) showed that overwhelmingly, a majority of Americans have no idea what Common Core means.  I didn’t know what the term meant until this April.  The USOE has not been transparent, open, or had meaningful public forums to expose and discuss all the relevant points –on control of local education, on research, on Constitutional legality, on taxpayer cost, nor on the standards’ content.

    You are openly advocating for the removal of consent. No amount of eduspeak makes up for that.

    Christel Swasey

%d bloggers like this: