Nov 3, 2013 by

by Donna Garner


I have been asked whether I believe parents can opt out their children from the data mining contained in the Common Core Standards/Race to the Top.  So far as I know, once states have committed to the Common Core Standards Initiative / Race to the Top and have taken the federal dollars, states are caught in the federal tentacles of the national database (i.e., data mining).



Unquestionably, Common Core Standards and Race to the Top are the Obama administration’s takeover of the public schools by the federal government. At some point, there may be a test case to see if the U. S. Dept. of Education can hold states to their commitment, particularly since at least three federal laws have been broken by the USDOE in creating Common Core Standards/Race to the Top and Congress never took a single vote on the CCSI.


I have posted various articles at the bottom of this page that discuss efforts by people who are trying to opt out their students from data mining.






In the state of Texas, here is the situation:  The Texas 83rd Legislative Session did pass HB 462 on 5.24.13, and it was signed into law:


However, technically this law only addresses the Common Core Standards themselves and not the national database included in the Race to the Top.


Excerpts from HB 462:  (b-1)  In this section, “common core state standards” means the national curriculum standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.


(b-2)  The State Board of Education may not adopt common core state standards to comply with a duty imposed under this chapter.

(b-3)  A school district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels under Subsection (c).


(b-4)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.


Gov. Perry and the former Commissioner of Education, Robert Scott, chose not to have the Texas Education Agency apply for the Race to the Top funds. That is the good news.


However, the bad news is that the USDOE has created a work-around in which they can send Race to the Top funds directly to the local school districts without the funds having to be approved by the TEA.  Eighty-one schools in Texas have applied for the RTT-D2 federal funds. Those schools that “win” the awards (to be announced by Dec. 31, 2013) would undoubtedly be required to implement the national database (i.e., data mining).





Unfortunately, the Texas 83nd Legislative Session passed HB 2103; and it was signed by Gov. Perry to become effective immediately.  HB 2103 allows the sharing of Texans’ personal data with entities all across the United States.  I begged Gov. Perry to veto HB 2103, but he chose to allow HB 2103 to become law:


To:  Open Letter to Gov. Rick Perry

From: Donna Garner

Date:  5.31.13

Re:  HB 2103


Link to the full letter:


Excerpts from this letter to Gov. Perry:


HB 2103 – Sharing of personal data with entities all across the United States


To read the bill:


Authored by Villarreal/Branch/Seliger —



This bill if passed would be a field day for hackers!  Also, liberal-left professors will most likely take over the Centers for Education Research projects; and all of our personal data will be shared among various agencies in Texas and in other states. The data shared can go back 20 years.




Basic Fact of Life:  The further that data gets away from the original source, the less people tend to protect it.



The data can include confidential information that is permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g).


In a Washington Post article dated 3.13.13, ( ), the U. S. Dept. of Ed. Is being sued because of the changes made to the FERPA law under the Obama administration.  Now private companies and foundations under the cloak of “promoting school reform” are allowed to get access to private student (and teacher) information. No parental permission is required, and student ID’s are linked to their private information.


A database funded by Bill Gates called iBloom, Inc. has already collected personal student data from seven states and will most likely morph into the national database under the Common Core Standards Initiative.


According to the Washington Post article, the information already collected “holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school – even homework completion.”


[Here is an article dating back to 8.27.12 that explains the national database that is becoming more and more visible now because of iBloom, etc.    – “Parents Need To Know About Student Data Privacy” by J. R. Wilson — —… ]






This bill sets up cooperating agencies including the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Texas Workforce Commission  (TWC) that will share data.


Three centers for education research (CER’s) will be set up to conduct research using the data from the TEA, THECB, and TWC that goes back at least 20 years.


The data will be known as the P-20/Workforce Data Repository and will be operated by the Higher Education Coordinating Board.


The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will establish three centers for education research (CER’s) to conduct studies and share education data, including college admission tests and data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The CER’s must operate for at least a 10-year period of time.


The Commissioner of the THECB will create, chair, and maintain an advisory board over the three research centers that must approve by majority vote all research studies and/or evaluations conducted.


The advisory board will meet at least quarterly and will be live streamed.


The Advisory Board will consist of:


A representative from the THECB, designated by the commissioner of higher education


A representative from the TEA, designated by the Commissioner of Education


A representative from the Texas Workforce Commission, designated by the commission


The directors of each of the three education research centers or the director’s designee


A representative from preschool, elementary, or secondary education


Research proposals can come from a qualified Texas researcher or from other states, a graduate student, a P-16 Council representative, or from a researcher who says the research will benefit Texas education (Pre-K through 16).


These research centers can be at a public junior college, public senior college or university, a public state college, or a consortium of all.


The data collected by these three education research centers can come from:


cooperating agencies


public or private colleges/universities


school districts


a provider of services to a school district or public or private institution of higher education


an entity approved as a part of the research project


After the three research centers are established, they must be supported by gifts and grants.


The data agreements are supposed to protect the confidentiality of all information used or stored at these centers and is subject to state and federal confidentiality laws.  However, we know there have been hundreds of hacking incidents and the free sharing of personal information by many agencies.


I repeat:  Basic Fact of Life — The further that data gets away from the original source, the less people tend to protect it.



The data is not to be removed or duplicated from a research center without authorization.


State education agencies from other states can negotiate agreements for these Texas education research centers to share Texas data.


The research centers can also form agreements with local agencies or organizations that provide education services to Texas students, including relevant data about former students of Texas public schools.


If signed into law, HB 2103 would become effective immediately.
“Comparison of Two Types of Education – Traditional/Type #1 vs. CSCOPE/Common Core Standards/Type #2” —




Donna Garner




“Comparison of Two Types of Education – Traditional/Type #1 vs. CSCOPE/Common Core Standards/Type #2” —






10.17.13 – “Florida Parents Cannot ‘Opt Out’ of Common Core Data Mining” — —



9.10.13 – “The Exodus, opting out of Common Core assessments and data collection” — by Oak Norton — Utahns Against Common Core —





10.16.13 – “Multiple States Deny Parents the Right To Opt a Child Out of SLDS Tracking” — Utahns Against Common Core —





10.15.13 – “Six Things the U. S. Dept. of Ed. Did to Deprive Your Child of Privacy” — Utahns Against Common Core —





3.15.13 – “Time To Opt Out of Creepy Fed Ed Data-Mining Racket by Michelle Malkin —




Donna Garner


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1 Comment

  1. Rebecca Smith

    It is a really frightening situation. Thank you for your courage in standing up to it.