Utahns Against Common Core, and Utah moms Alisa Ellis, Renee Braddy, and Christel Swasey, as well as myself, have been studying this topic for over a year. We have gathered evidence, and documented exchanges that confirms what Michelle Malkin is saying in her opt piece. However allow me to inform you what Michelle has left out, and specifically, how it affects Utah.
In Michelle’s piece she states, “Say goodbye to your children’s privacy. Say hello to an unprecedented nationwide student tracking system, whose data will apparently will be sold by government officials to the highest bidders.” These two statements are full of information. First, Yes! Do say goodbye! In an effort to gather this information, schools- including Utah- have been gathering every child’s medical history to put in their school portfolio. I’m not talking about vaccinations; I’m talking about assignment questions, that ask, “When was the last time you’ve seen your doctor,?” and “Who is your doctor?” Doubt me? I have an original copy of that assignment! By the way, that assignment was given without a parental signature.
Park City High School is collecting data from their students, and it is not random information, but – infact – DNA! A post on the Utahns Against Common Core website states, “The High School has apparently agreed to participate in a study where students will give DNA samples to a lab as an outbreak drill to test new lab equipment. The purpose is that in the future, they may want to determine how new H1N1 type diseases are spreading.” www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/?s=Park+City+data+collecting
These are only two of many examples concerning data collecting! This information is right under the noses of parents, and either they don’t recognize it, or won’t come forward because of fear. I know it’s intimidating, especially when you fear your child might be singled out and bullied – but can you imagine if those who are silent all took a step forward, how much pressure could be applied to make changes! You can read more about the data collecting here: whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/schools-are-sharing-private-information-via-slds-and-p-20-statefederal-systems/
Michelle also references- the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Most parents don’t know that this law exists, nor would they know that there are two versions: Federal FERPA laws and Utah FERPA laws. In the middle of President Obama’s first term, Federal FERPA laws were changed without Congressional consent. Under the direction of his administration, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan amended some of the National FERPA laws, so that the National “student longitudinal data system” could acquire the data they need.
I’ve copied some of the more pertinent points from the document, below. Every parent should be aware of FERPA and so I’ve provided the link here: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-02/html/2011-30683.htm
“SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 8, 2011, the Department published a notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) in the Federal Register (76 FR 19726). In the preamble to the NPRM, the Secretary stated that the proposed changes were necessary to ensure the Department’s proper implementation of FERPA, while allowing for the effective use of student data, and to address other issues identified through the Department’s experience in administering FERPA.
“Protecting student privacy is paramount to the effective implementation of FERPA. All education data holders must act responsibly and be held accountable for safeguarding students’ personally identifiable information (PII) from education records. The need for clarity surrounding privacy protections and data security continues to grow as statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS) are built and more education records are digitized and shared electronically. As States develop and refine their information management systems, it is critical that they take steps to ensure that student information is protected and that PII from education records is disclosed only for authorized purposes and under circumstances permitted by law. (When we use the term “disclose” in this document, we sometimes are referring to redisclosures as well.)
“The amendments reflected in these final regulations establish the procedures that State and local educational authorities, and Federal agencies headed by officials listed in Sec. 99.31(a)(3) (FERPA-permitted entities), their authorized representatives, and organizations conducting studies must follow to ensure compliance with FERPA. The amendments also reduce barriers that have inhibited the effective use of SLDS as envisioned in the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act (the America COMPETES Act) (Pub. L. 110-69) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub. L. 111-5). Finally, by expanding the requirements for written agreements and the Department’s enforcement mechanisms, the amendments help to ensure increased accountability on the part of those with access to PII from education records.
“These amendments include definitions for two previously undefined terms, “authorized representative” and “education program,” to permit greater access by appropriate and authorized parties to information on students in order to evaluate the effectiveness of education programs. Specifically, we have modified the definition of and requirements related to “directory information” to clarify (1) that the right to opt out of the disclosure of directory information under FERPA does not include the right to refuse to wear, or otherwise disclose, a student identification (ID) card or badge; (2) that schools may implement a limited directory information policy in which they specify the parties or purposes for which the information is disclosed; and (3) the Department’s authority to hold State educational authorities and other recipients of Department funds under a program administered by the Secretary accountable for compliance with FERPA.
“We believe that the regulatory changes adopted in these final regulations provide clarification on many important issues that have arisen over time with regard to how FERPA applies to SLDS and to other requests for data on student progress.”
Again, I remind the public that these changes were made without Congressional oversight! Are you awake yet?
The nail in the coffin for all this hard work is the Student Longitudinal Data System (SLDS). Utah was given a $9.2 million federal grant for helping to set up the State SLDS! John Brandt is the Technology Director and IT Coordinator for the Utah Department of Education. Mr. Brandt has been building this data system in congruency with the federal government’s help for over 18 months. At an Education Committee meeting I attended, he stated that he was almost finished with building the structure to maintain future, incoming data. He also stated that he hoped the legislature would continue to fund this “valuable tool” after the federal grant had expired. I was skeptical of Mr. Brandt’s statement that data would not be shared outside of Utah. Oh really? Then what strings are attached to the $9.2 million dollars? And why are the remaining 49 States creating similar systems? You can read the full account of the meeting here: whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/qa-on-common-core-historic-3-hour-legislative-committee-meeting/
So, with all this careful planning and implementation, why and for whom is all this information being gathered? That explanation could go on forever, but I will focus on Governor Herbert’s program of Prosperity 2020 and President Obama’s 2020 educational goals. They are in alignment and not by accident. Since American citizens have been taxed to the max, what better way to generate more money than to create Public- Private Partnerships (PPP). “This ‘paradigm,’ of course, is that of sustainable development, which combines the power of the purse,one might call it, with the power of the sword. The resources of business (the power of the purse) are utilized to do the work of “governance” (the power of the sword)—with the former’s full cooperation and support.” (from a white paper published by the Liberty Garden, entitled “Public-Private Partnerships, the undermining of free enterprise, and the emergence of soft fascism” files.meetup.com/1387375/LIBERTYGARDEN-PPP.pdf}
So now you have the formula: Federal and State Data Collecting – FERPA laws + PPP = a government-created workforce of our children for the use of enterprise!