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FEDS TO BE ABLE TO TRACK YOUR SCHOOL CHILDREN’S PERSONAL INFORMATION

Dec 28, 2011 by

by Donna Garner –

The Obama administration’s federal takeover of the public schools is finally beginning to resonate across this country. The New York Post article dated 12.27.11 and entitled “How the Feds Are Tracking Your Kid” (posted at the bottom of this page) should make every parent in America furious. “As of Jan. 3, 2012, interstate and intergovernmental access to your child’s personal information will be practically unlimited. The federal government will have a de facto nationwide database of supposedly confidential student information.

Education Policy Commentator EducationViews.org and taught English for decades in Texas public schools.

The national database is a part of the Common Core Standards (and Race to the Top). The Common Core Standards initiative includes national standards, national assessments, national curriculum, teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores, teachers teaching to the test each and every day, national indoctrination of public school children, and a national database of intrusive information on all public school students and teachers.

For well over a year, we have been begging Congress to defund the Obama administration’s takeover of the public schools through the Common Core Standards/Race to the Top.

If Congress had done what they should have done, this national database would be dead in the water right now. Instead, Congress has dithered around; and now the regulations that open the door for this national database to proceed are to go into effect on Jan. 3, 2012.

Please contact your Congressmen and insist that they defund the Common Core Standards/Race to the Top RIGHT NOW! – Donna Garner]
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TEXAS COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION ROBERT SCOTT EXPLAINS THE NATIONAL, INTRUSIVE DATABASE

Robert Scott is the Chief Deputy Commissioner of Education in Texas. Not only is he an innovative education expert, but he is also an attorney who knows education law backwards and forwards.

Because of his legal background and because he is a specialist in education law, he was a key speaker at the Heritage Foundation/Pioneer Institute Conference (7.27.11) and explained the overreach of the federal government through national standards, curriculum, assessments, and a national and intrusive database.

Here is the link to Commissioner Scott’s presentation which begins at 5:46 (see marker on left side of video screen). Please be sure to hit the word “Play” under the screen if the video does not start right away:

http://www.heritage.org/Events/2011/07/National-Standards

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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/how_the_feds_are_tracking_your_kid_xC6wecT8ZidCAzfqegB6hL?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME

How the feds are tracking your kid

By EMMETT MCGROARTY & JANE ROBBINS

Last Updated: 12:13 AM, December 28, 2011

Posted: 11:01 PM, December 27, 2011

Would it bother you to know that the federal Centers for Disease Control had been shown your daughter’s health records to see how she responded to an STD/teen-pregnancy-prevention program? How about if the federal Department of Education and Department of Labor scrutinized your son’s academic performance to see if he should be “encouraged” to leave high school early to learn a trade? Would you think the government was intruding on your territory as a parent?

Under regulations the Obama Department of Education released this month, these scenarios could become reality. The department has taken a giant step toward creating a de facto national student database that will track students by their personal information from preschool through career. Although current federal law prohibits this, the department decided to ignore Congress and, in effect, rewrite the law. Student privacy and parental authority will suffer.

How did it happen? Buried within the enormous 2009 stimulus bill were provisions encouraging states to develop data systems for collecting copious information on public-school kids. To qualify for stimulus money, states had to agree to build such systems according to federally dictated standards. So all 50 states either now maintain or are capable of maintaining extensive databases on public-school students.

The administration wants this data to include much more than name, address and test scores. According to the National Data Collection Model, the government should collect information on health-care history, family income and family voting status. In its view, public schools offer a golden opportunity to mine reams of data from a captive audience.

The department’s eagerness to get control of all this information is almost palpable. But current federal law prohibits a nationwide student database and strictly limits disclosure of a student’s personal information. So the department has determined that it can overcome the legal obstacles by simply bypassing Congress and essentially rewriting the federal privacy statute.

Last April, the department proposed regulations that would allow it and other agencies to share a student’s personal information with practically any government agency or even private company, as long as the disclosure could be said to support an evaluation of an “education program,” broadly defined. That’s how the CDC might end up with your daughter’s health records or the Department of Labor with your son’s test scores.

And you’d have no right to object — in fact, you’d probably never even know about the disclosure.

Not surprisingly, these proposed regulations provoked a firestorm of criticism. But on Dec. 2, the Department of Education rejected almost all the criticisms and released the regulations. As of Jan. 3, 2012, interstate and intergovernmental access to your child’s personal information will be practically unlimited. The federal government will have a de facto nationwide database of supposedly confidential student information.

The department says this won’t happen. If the states choose to link their data systems, it says, that’s their business, but “the federal government would not play a role” in operating the resulting megadatabase.

This denial is, to say the least, disingenuous. The department would have access to the data systems of each of the 50 states and would be allowed to share that data with anyone it chooses, as long as it uses the right language to justify the disclosure.

And just as the department used the promise of federal money to coerce the states into developing these systems, it would almost certainly do the same to make them link their systems. The result would be a nationwide student database, whether or not it’s “operated” from an office in Washington.

The loosening of student-privacy protection would greatly increase the risks of unauthorized disclosure of personal data. Even the authorized disclosure would be limited only by the imaginations of federal bureaucrats.

Unless Congress steps in and reclaims its authority, student privacy and parental control over education will be relics of the past.

Emmett McGroarty is executive director of the Preserve Innocence Initiative of the American Principles Project. Jane Robbins is a senior fellow with the American Principles Project.

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