View Full Version : Student Data Tied To Common Core Off-Limits To Parents

07-13-2014, 07:43 PM
Student Data Tied To Common Core Off-Limits To Parents

States that were awarded grants from President Obama’s Race to the Top (RttT) stimulus bill program agreed to implement the Common Core standards and to comply with the “Four Assurances,” one of which was the requirement of “Building data systems that measure student growth and success.”

The problem? Private student data is off-limits to parents.

In July of 2009, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, ”[W]e have more than $300 million available to help states build data systems that will drive reforms.”

In Colorado, for example, in addition to its $73 million RttT award, the state also received $17.4 million additional dollars to build the State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) in 2010. Since all states now have an SLDS database, regional data centers have also formed that allow states to share and compare student data, creating what amounts to a national database of student information.

As Watchdog Wire reported in late June, local Colorado school districts are collecting detailed educational and psychological data on their students for use by private companies and the federal government. Parents, however, are having a hard time getting their hands on their own children’s information.

Ft. Collins parent Cheri Kiesecker, for example, has written to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), asking for her children’s data, but was told the CDE cannot share that data with parents.

“The Colorado Department of Education does not have a mechanism for verifying parent/guardian relationships to students -- and the release of student information to an unauthorized entity would be a violation of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),” replied Dan Damagala, CDE’s CIO of Information Management Services.

“First CDE said that they do not share student’s personal identifying information, with name, birth date, address, SSN, then we found their policy and video on how they do share it,” responded Kiesecker. “Now CDE tells us that we can’t see the data or who it has been shared with? It seems crazy to me that complete strangers and vendors can have access to my children’s data, but I cannot.”

...The data collected about children is not just limited to their educational progress, but also psychological information collected through teacher observations, classroom videos, digital programs, and tests – like the Common Core-aligned PARCC and SBAC assessments – that are taken online.

For example, as Donna Garner of Education Views observed in May, schools that have adopted the Common Core standards in various parts of the U.S. have begun to require students (without parental knowledge) to take the Pearson Clinical Tests. Teachers, using the BASC-2 test form, enter their own personal observations about their students directly into the Pearson database.

“Pearson’s privacy policy says they will share the information with their contractors and that the policy can change without notice,” wrote Garner. “However, the contractors have no privacy policy. It is not a stretch to imagine that students’ personally identifiable information could indeed be used against them for college admissions and/or future employment.”....

07-13-2014, 08:49 PM
Vouchers now. It's the only way to reign in the insanity.

07-14-2014, 04:06 AM
Vouchers now. It's the only way to reign in the insanity.

I agree.

07-14-2014, 05:57 PM
But charter schools may be compelled to submit the same data. In California, many of the Catholic schools (sadly) are going Common Core.