"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is this Information Necessary for Educating Your Child? Just Wait. The Questions Will Become More Intrusive.

The educational Longitudinal Data System may be in operation sooner than thought in terms of asking invasive personal questions. Here is a story from the UK Daily Mail about a California school in the Dry Creek School District requesting this information on a school enrollment form:

Did you deliver your child vaginally or by c-section? If you check the c-section box you’re asked to include why the surgery was performed. (Note: The questions are marked as optional.)

A follow-up story on Mominformation blog states the district has rethought its practice of asking for this information:

Story update: Momformation reached out to Dry Creek School District this morning and heard back from superintendent Mark Geyer this afternoon. He says the question about how a child was delivered at birth was included in a health form required for enrollment that was created in 2007. At the time, research indicated that children delivered by c-section were more likely to have certain learning disabilities and health issues. Geyer says the district looked into the matter after the CBS segment and found that research related to c-sections has changed. This morning, the district introduced a revised form. “The question about c-sections might have been pertinent at the time the form was introduced,” Geyer said. “But we’ve realized that the research has changed and there’s no longer a correlation.

Parents, taxpayers and teachers are outraged in their comments in both postings. They don't like the intrusiveness of the question and many tell the story of having birthed children via C-section and then those same children winding up as honor students through school. Some commentors believed this question could be construed as labeling parents who had a baby born according to convenience rather than from necessity. According to the school, it believed learning disabilities were more likely if a child was born by C-section, but research has changed. However, look at this 2010 report regarding C-section births in Scotland which states:

The researchers found out that earlier delivery is proportionate to higher risk of learning disabilities. About 4.9 percent of the studied cases were having special education needs. 1, 565 kids born before during 37 to 40 weeks needed Special Educational Needs (SEN). Kids born at the 39 week were more likely to have learning disabilities than their counterparts born at the 40 week of pregnancy. The study was carried out for 12 years.

The scientists also mentioned that SEN was more relevant and desired during the school time in the kids that were born after 40 weeks. They concluded that a complete gestational period ensure healthy and normal life for babies. They believed that till now, when the previous researches only considered babies born at 37 week as preterm as compared to the term babies born in between 38 to 40 weeks, this research can be useful to analyze and assess the SEN and learning disabilities in the babies.

Is this the beginning of assessing your human capital based on their entrance into the world? Should your human capital be labeled as high risk for learning disabilities before they even are enrolled in school because he/she was born via C-section?

Is this the start of obtaining personal information for the alleged educational benefit of your human capital? The new data system questions want the legal ability to know the religious and political belief of you and your child. If parents believe asking about the birth circumstances of a child is intrusive, they might be surprised to discover what else schools and the government want from you and your human capital.

Maybe you could state your student was adopted and you don't know the birth history. This most likely would place your human capital in yet another category for at risk students. How can a school possibly service a student without knowing the biological background of the human capital? Oops. It's difficult to place a label on human capital who doesn't come with full disclosure.

The following type of information will be easy to glean from your adopted human capital, or for any human capital if questions aren't answered by the parental unit. As we all know, it's very important to know information such as this to educate your child:

Eye Color

Source: Handbooks
The color that best describes an individual's eyes.

Code Set:

  • Black - N/A
  • Brown - N/A
  • Red - N/A
  • Blue - N/A
  • Green - N/A
  • Hazel - N/A
  • Violet - N/A
  • Other - N/A

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