Thursday, September 7, 2017

Privacy issues and parent discontent with the Summit/Facebook/Chan Zuckerberg online platform

On Tuesday, the Washington Post Answer Sheet published a piece I wrote on how the Summit online platform threatens student privacy, by collecting detailed a wealth of personal  information including students’ race and economic status, their coursework,  suspension and expulsion data, while claiming the ability to share this data with other unspecified vendors and partners to develop new products or services, or directly through an “asset sale.”

The online platform is a collaboration between Summit charter schools, Facebook and now the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.  At about the time CZI took over from Facebook, they took away the right of parents to consent to their children's use of the platform and for their children’s personal data to be widely shared.  Summit also claims to use any teacher work uploaded onto the platform without compensation, and restricts the right of teachers or parents to sue for violations of privacy or other legal rights to be resolved by an independent arbitrator located in Silicon Valley, home of Facebook and CZI.

Here is a list of  142 schools, both public and charter, that Summit claims are using the their online platform this year. Two of those schools are in NYC: Bronx Writing, a middle school in District 9, and J.H.S. 088 Peter Rouget in District 15 in Brooklyn.

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post forwarded Summit a list of questions, which they refused to answer; as did the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, which has billions at its disposal to lure more teachers and schools into the program.   

Recently, the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability found that the disclosure of personal student data by Summit without parent consent violates state law.

The WaPost piece is an excerpt of a longer article I wrote, which includes comments from parents and students about their profound discontent with the inadequate teacher feedback inherent in the Summit platform, and the low quality of the curriculum the program offers, causing many kids to become disengaged, bored, fall behind and start to hate school, which in turn has led some parents to pull their kids out of these schools.

Please read and share both links, and if you are a parent, teacher, or student at a school using the Summit online platform, please reach out to the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy at  thanks!  Leonie  

No comments: