I’m usually not an alarmist, however, the recent efforts to develop a common repository for student standardized test scores and associated data is something of concern for all parents. Read more about these efforts at the links below.
My comments to an EdWeek blog post titled Dystopia: A Possible Future of Teacher Evaluation and written by Anthony Cody follow, along with a link to the post. For those of you who have read George Orwell, or Aldous Huxley, I recommend you read the EdWeek post.
While more legislation is not always a good thing, I believe federal privacy legislation, if not already in place, must be enacted ASAP prohibiting the collection, storage, integration, or dissemination of individually identifiable standardized / mandated test scores and other associated data for any student, when said data are not otherwise legally and freely available in the public domain, except for the sole and express purpose of informing authorized parties of said scores and/or data where authorized parties are limited to adult students, parents / legal guardians of under age students, teachers, or administrators. Furthermore, it should be expressly prohibited to use any individually identifiable score or associated data, or aggregated scores or associated data for any purpose other than to inform instruction or professional development.
While the possibilities proffered by these data are tantalizing for econometricians, accountability addicts, various researchers, and the like, the mere existence of this level of atomized data ominously portends Orwellian and Huxleyian futures for us all. We must prevent this move to create a statewide- or national database of individually identifiable data with every ounce of our American spirit, which is deeply steeped in independence and freedom; otherwise, a fascist state becomes all too real, all too quickly.