According to the new NYSED data dictionary, updated just yesterday, among the mandatory elements to be uploaded to inBloom and shared with vendors are approximately 400 data points, for every student, public and charter school and teacher in the state. They include the following:
- Students’ name, addresses, unique ID;
- Their parents’ telephone number, email, and nature of their relationship (i.e. whether mother, father, stepfather, foster mother, guardian etc.)
- The date the student was born and if not born here, when entered the US;
- Their family’s economic situation, including whether they participate in public assistance programs and whether they get free lunch;
- Their race, their ethnicity, their home languages, and whether they are limited English proficient;
- Their disabilities, and what services they receive (including special education services, counseling, etc.)
- What their 504 status is, which can include a wealth of medical and health conditions, such as hearing issues, epilepsy, allergies, etc. (504 conditions are defined by the feds as any “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” and including "any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities." )
- When any of these conditions was first identified and when it was removed;
- Every day the student was absent, and whether this was due to an out-of-school, or an in school suspension, an unexcused or excused absence, and the reason why;
- Every course they took in every year, how many credits they accumulated, and what grades they received;
- Any and all assessments they were given, including achievement tests, “attitudinal tests” and “cognitive and perceptual skills tests”;
- The results of any and all those tests, including their scores and performance levels;
- Any subtests or assessments that relate to specific learning objectives (or SLOs), and the assessment “response” (ie “a student’s response to a stimulus on a test”, whatever that means)
- The learning standards tested, the content standards and the grade
levels for which the learning objective is targeted.
The state claims in the data dictionary that districts “already submit these elements into the Level 2 data warehouse”, with personally identified student names and ID numbers attached. In fact, data guys tell me that much of this information has never been shared before with the state.
Moreover the newly updated NYSED FAQ claims that “With few exceptions, the State does not possess any school district data that was not first provided to the State by school districts by means of a school district relationship with a third party vendor system.” I doubt the veracity of this statement as well; perhaps SED’s is mistaking data contained in software sold by a vendor with the vendor accessing the info itself.
The NYSED FAQ also states: “the EngageNY Portal will include date of suspension and whether or not the suspension was assigned in- or out- of school.. No other information related to the incident or the suspension will be included. This basic suspension information is necessary (along with course grades and attendance information) to help identify students who may be at risk of school dropout. “
Yet this seems to contradict the data dictionary which on p. 10 says each attendance “event” must be uploaded, including out of school or in school suspension, and then on pg. 11, the “reason” for this event.
All in all a very scary amount of personal information for every schoolchild, to be stored on a data cloud and provided to third party vendors without parental or district consent.