Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Parents in Western NYS outraged about testing and confidential data sharing

An excellent news story by WIVB TV news in Western New York State that captures the parent outrage at the NY State Education Department concerning the increase in testing and student data sharing, leading to a growing opt out movement.

I strongly recommend you watch the whole thing; the section on the state's plan to share confidential student data with inBloom Inc. and private vendors is at about 6 minutes in; this part is transcribed under the screen.  For the entire transcript, you can go to the WBEZ website here.

Parents also fear their children's private information is no longer private.

New York is one of five states providing personal information about its students to an electronic database - including names; addresses; race; ethnicity; disabilities; parent contact information; dates of absences, out-of-school suspensions, grades; and State standardized test scores.

The database was built by a company owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, with money from the Gates Foundation. It's run by a new non-profit, inBloom Inc., and third parties can access all the information it contains.

According to a report by The Washington Post , the U.S. Department of Education is being sued for promoting regulations that allow databases like inBloom's.

State Ed. and inBloom claim this database "mak[es] it easier [for teachers] to find learning materials that match each student's" needs.

However, state lawmakers are so concerned, there are bills in the Assembly and Senate that would make it illegal to release personal information about students to third parties, unless parents give consent.

"The fact that we have to have a law that says you can't release personal information about children is shocking, not that it's the other way around," [parent Shirley] Verrico says.


Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, I attended a town hall meeting in Brooklyn at the Vince Lombardi school, Chancellor Walcott was present. Someone asked him about inbloomdata base. His response was "inbloomdata base guarantees students privacy". He lied to the parents!!! Shame on him!!

Alonzo said...

This is cool!