Friday, December 16, 2011

Regents agree to give NY student data to limited corporation run by Gates and operated by Murdoch's Wireless Gen

This week, the Wall St Journal reported that the NY Board of Regents approved the state's sharing of student and teacher information with a new national data base, to be funded by the Gates  Foundation, and designed by News Corp's Wireless Generation.
All this confidential student and teacher data will be held by a private limited corporation, called the Shared Learning Collaborative LLC, with even less accountability,  which in July was awarded $76.5 million   by the Gates Foundation, to be spent over 7 months.  According to an earlier NYT story,  $44 million of this funding will go straight into the pockets of Wireless Generation, owned by Murdoch's News Corp and run by Joel Klein.
The Regents approved this project, despite the NY State Comptroller’s veto this summer of the State Education Department’s proposed no-bid contract to Wireless to build a state-wide data system, apparently because the state is not paying money to participate.  According to sources who were present, while several Regents expressed concerns, Betty Rosa of the Bronx was the only member to abstain.  The others apparently thought that even though the Comptroller-- and the public as well—had opposed this contract in large part because of the privacy issue and the involvement of Murdoch’s company,  which is still embroiled in a major phone-hacking scandal in the UK, these issues were not important enough to ask for more information or to delay the state from going forward with the deal.
Here is what SED writes, in explanation of their intent to share this confidential data: 
The cost of the development of the SLC will be the responsibility of the SLC, not New York State. Consistent with the Comptroller's concerns regarding Wireless Generation, no New York State funds will be paid directly or indirectly to Wireless Generation or any of its subsidiaries for the development of these SLC services. As mentioned above, each state and school/district will retain sole ownership of its data. Only anonymous data will be used for SLC system development. As in any system development project, a limited number of authorized vendors will need to access actual educational data for system operation and improvements.

Including Wireless, one must assume. But this is not all. Here is more from the SED document: 

The Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC) is a consortium of states organized to help increase the benefits and long-term sustainability of data, curriculum, and instructional improvement initiatives. The SLC is facilitated by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and has received initial funding from the Carnegie Corporation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Participating states include Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Massachusetts.
 A primary purpose of the SLC is to help promote the efficient expenditure of taxpayer funds by coordinating the efforts of multiple states to provide for the common needs of all participating states, including shared infrastructure and services that integrate, deliver, and display educational data and curriculum resources for educators, students, and families. Legally binding agreements will ensure that each state’s data remain separate and distinct from the data of all other states…”

Along with  Wireless, some of the other companies involved will be two consulting companies: Alvarez and Marsal, who were behind the disastrous reorganization of NYC school bus routes in the winter of 2007, and McKinsey, which led the first reorganization of Children’s First in 2003, which included dissolving the district structure (contrary to law) and totally writing off parent input.
Here is an excerpt from a Gates’ fact sheet about this project:

In addition to making instructional data more manageable and useful, this open-license technology, provisionally called the Shared Learning Infrastructure (SLI), will also support a large market for vendors of learning materials and application developers to deliver content and tools that meet the Common Core State Standards and are interoperable with each other and the most popular student information systems.”

In other words, companies will be making more money off our kids’ test scores. 
Meanwhile, it is not reassuring that the Gates document says that “the long-term governance model” of this national data base “is still in development.” 
They add a standard disclaimer, that “Designing protections for student privacy will be addressed throughout the development of the system, and data access and usage models will be designed to support compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and other privacy laws” without any assurances of how this will be achieved.
SED adds:

The SLC is making plans for its long-term governance, including the protection of data privacy and security; the development of a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization structure; and the articulation of a business model for long-term fiscal sustainability. This work will be guided by participating states and informed by input from a panel of expert advisors, including Cheryl Vedoe, President and CEO of Apex Learning; David Riley, President of the Alembic Foundation and an open source technology expert; Dr. Michael Lomax, President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund; Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; Michael Horn, Co-founder and Executive Director for Education at Innosight Institute; and Andrew Rotherham, Co-founder and Partner of Bellwether Education Partners.

I wonder how many of those organizations receive funding from Gates. 
Where are the independent experts on privacy, and even more importantly, the input of parents, who really should be allowed to opt out of this national database? 


Michael Fiorillo said...

So, the ghoulish Murdoch and his factotum Klein don't have to hack into the student's and teacher's data - as was done in Britain, where Murdoch's hired ghouls hacked into the cell phone voice mail of a murdered child - but are to be given the data by the people who are running the schools and doing everything they can to turn them over to the 1%.

Let's just indenture the kids right now to a lifetime of debt, dead-end jobs and the prison-industrial complex. It would be far more efficient.

Anonymous said...

This is so wrong.

Dan tdaxp said...

This is a ridiculous post. Do you have any idea how science works? It seems not.

zulma said...

Another nightmare coming to our schools. Another way that Murdoch will "hack" away at a child's information and education.

If the Mayans predicted that the world is supposed to end 12/2012, we need not worry. Murdoch is doing the destruction for them.

Anonymous said...

Another good reason to homeschool!

Anonymous said...

It takes a lot to keep the lie machine running 24/7, 365.

Anonymous said...

Data is data. It can be manipulated for the highest bidder. Who will Bloomberg and cronies like Tisch pay off for outcomes that are favorable for the NYC District? They seem to be the only group that makes out in any changes made by the Board of Regents! Parents are left out! School Districts are left out. They have a bunch of 20 something "Fellows" working for a Foundation supported by Tisch, her husband and the Gates Foundation making all of the evaluative decisions for the Board of Regents! What next? Get rid of all teachers and have all kids take on-line courses? Murdoch is counting his bags of money now.

BohemianOne said...

laRead John Taylor Gatto's book, "Dumbing us Down". It shows who created and who runs the school system. It is NOT educators but corporations and major business people. Schools are to make workers and consumers....NOT to educate your kids.

This article proves that point quite well.

Still another great reason to HOMESCHOOL. Check out Pat Faranga's website for a good synopsis of what homeschooling really is.

ANYONE can do it! It is easy! And free! It is individualized education! And no standardized testing! Kids actually love learning their whole lives! Homeschooled kids are SELF motivated. They are not sheep. They ask questions. They make comments. My kid thanks me all the time for not putting him through the school system, and he's getting straight A's in college now. VERY social....

Check it out. Do yourself, your kid and our nation a favor.

Anonymous said...

GTFO with this faggotry!

Anonymous said...

Under FERPA LAWS, this should NOT be allowed! STAND UP for your child's privacy and dignity!!

READ the FERPA LAWS and demand that your child's 'data' remain confidential!

Anonymous said...

FERPA was quietly amended on December 2, 2011 to allow for this. (

Not only are the states collecting it, they are now all throwing it into a pool together at the federal level. What is really CREEPY is how much and what kind of data they are planning to try to collect (i.e., everything they can possibly think of...) Look at this:
and this:

Oak said...

Those who are saying people should homeschool should know that homeschoolers are being targeted for inclusion in these databases.