"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

Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Department of Education Just Won The Data Jackpot

Emmett McGroarty, executive director of the Preserve Innocence Initiative of the American Principles Project and Jane Robbins, a senior fellow with the APP, wrote a great opinion piece that was featured in today's New York Post regarding the new access the Federal Dept of Education just granted itself to a wide range of data about your children.  We are including it here in its entirety for your convenience.
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? 
The government will have the ability to look at
any data they want to regarding your child.
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 mega-database. 
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
Read original: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/how_the_feds_are_tracking_your_kid_xC6wecT8ZidCAzfqegB6hL#ixzz1hrKISgfc.


  1. "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."

    Here it comes. Your child and your family has no right to privacy AND this information will be used to supply the workforce.

    And the politicians are silent.

  2. "Unless Congress steps in and reclaims its authority, student privacy and parental control over education will be relics of the past."
    You think the word is getting out?????

  3. I am willing to bet people just wont care, just like with the Smart Grid, people will tell themselves, "Oh this won't happen." As a country we are screwed because there are so few of us that know where this is going and what it will eventually lead to, totalitarianism the likes of which we have never seen.

    Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death, not just a motto but words to live by.

    Patch W Adams
    The P/Oed Patriot

  4. Gretchen-- if they'd followed you and Gretchen or Sandra they'd have known this long ago and saved a ton of investigative money

    The NY Post picked up story, so did Matt Drudge. Hopefully with this out in the open the rest will be exposed to the public

  5. Sandra, unless Congress steps in and does their job we might cut them out of Government and save many billions a year. Obama is doing their job via regulation.. Worse they are letting him.

  6. I'm glad to see others are paying attention. In addition to this, Obama directed HHS to send EVERYBODY's health records to D.C. under ObummerCare. This was accomplished via federal funding of the computerization of medical records. Also...I got a call from the CDC asking for answers to a health survey they were conducting. I listened to a few of the questions...they asked for the names and dosages of my medications and my doctor's name. I did not give them the info and hung up on them. But I was curious and checked it out. Seems the CDC has been doing this for 10 years under some grant given to the University of Illinois. They use the immunization of children as an excuse for the survey. Evidently, they go visit the homes of children who have been determined by their survey to not have their immunizations up to date. Children have been removed from their homes for this. I found out they also call the doctor and verify that the info given on the survey is correct. I got another call from them the next day. I hung up on them. I'm 66. Why would they want my info? I'm also a nurse. If they determine I am not taking my medicines as I should, would it also indicate a need to have people come evaluate me and my home environment? And what would be the outcome of that investigation? I'm not liking what's going on at all.


Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter