Reblogging this from Valerie Strauss’ The Answer Sheet:
Parents across America must be alerted to efforts such as inBloom’s. There is no need for all of this data to exist in a unified database, or be accessible from a single source. The arguments given for operating such a database are misleading and intended only to benefit the financial backers. Data is powerful. Teachers and parents need access to it to improve student outcomes. We do not need it from the ultimate “big brother” provider, whether it be the government, or its proxy inBloom.
BY VALERIE STRAUSS January 3 at 4:00 am
(PATRIK STOLLARZ – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Privacy concerns have been growing over a$100 million student database – largely funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and operated by a nonprofit organization, inBloom Inc. — that contains detailed information about millions of students. Most of the states that had signed up to participate in a pilot program have pulled back, and in New York, parents and educators have pushed back with protests and a lawsuit. The nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the U.S. Education Department over the database.
Here’s a new post about the database from award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York, who has been chronicling on this blog the many problems with test-driven reform in New York (here, and here and here and here, for example). She was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. She is the co-author of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens. You can read the letter by clicking here.
By Carol Burris
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is indecisive when it comes to uploading student information into inBloom, the cloud-based system designed to provide student data to vendors. He says that he is waiting for Commissioner John King’s report on privacy, even as the upload begins. Cuomo claims that massive student data collection is “necessary.” Meanwhile, eight other states that originally committed to inBloom have pulled out, or put their plans on hold.