Tuesday, March 4, 2014

inBloom executives finally testify before the NYS Assembly; what a sad spectacle it was

See the videotaped testimony of NYSED's Ken Wagner, along with a crew from inBloom Inc., including Peggy Brookins, Board Member, Jat Pannu, Senior VP of Services and Virginia Bartlett, Chief Privacy Officer before the NY Assembly Education Committee last Friday, February 28.

Highlights (or low lights): Ken Wagner giving a one sentence testimony at the beginning.  

And inBloom's VP refusing to disclose what other states they are working with, by saying they "respect the confidentiality of their clients"!!!  Too bad they don't respect the confidentiality of NYC public school children or their families. 

Thanks to the Assemblymembers present, especially Chair Cathy Nolan, Danny O'Donnell, Tom Abinante, Ed Graf and Shelley Mayer, who asked great questions but got very little information in return. The inBloom people said the system had the flexibility to allow parental opt outs of the database, contrary to what State Ed officials have maintained.

Here is the testimony of Allison White, co-author of the privacy petition, along with Deborah Abramson Brooks. There was no time allotted for parents to speak, but this is how it ends:
I will not allow my children to go to a public school if this is approved. I will protect my children's privacy and private information like medical records which are protected by our government already. I expect our government to be forthcoming about their intentions and inform us (the public) of matters that impact our children and ourselves. I will not allow the government to take away my parental decision making choice.  STOP THIS EDUCATIONAL FARCE....

Our children are not employees, they are not commodities, and they are not owned by the government or special interest groups! This unnecessary intrusion into their lives needs to stop.

Parents and children should not lose their rights to privacy. These rights MUST be Protected. I'm completely opposed to any sharing or storage of student data for the OBVIOUS and valid reasons listed in this petition.

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