"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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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Judy Collins and the Majority of Americans "Really Don't Know Clouds At All" and the Danger to Individual Privacy

Do you remember Judy Collins' song "Both Sides Now" in which she mentions clouds, love and life?  She may have been on the cutting edge of technology in the late '60s and she didn't know how prophetic her words were regarding America's (and global) current technology phase.  We are living in an age that allows data to be gathered from every human capital's life. 

We've written about the common cartridge and the plan for a child's curriculum to be pre-loaded, plugged into a computer and delivered to the student for his/her study.  The teaching profession will cease to become a profession, as teachers will mainly monitor the student's progression (or non-progression) with the curriculum.  Direct teaching will become archaic as there will be decreased need for human instruction. 

This administration believes to become globally competitive, we need to know what the other countries around the globe are doing and what they are studying so we can play on the same field with the same data.  In this era of teaching "globalism" and the belief we are living in a global community and not an exceptional nation, an international curriculum becomes desirous and important.  We now need the common cartridge to supply a national curriculum with the desire (the Clinton Global Initiative) to adopt international goals for education.  We are not only ignoring the fact Federal law states a national curriculum is illegal, we are jumping ahead on the global Monopoly board  eager to be part of international educational goals.

Via technology we can now be part of the global community, compare our nation to others (and vice versa), and live the international dream.  Forget about the American dream, it has been extinguished in favor of common and international goals.  How do we believe this revised global dream is occurring and replacing the American dream?

  • First, states must adopt common core standards because all the other states have to talk to each other to determine how their particular state is doing in implementing the standards and the result of the implementation.  The data has to be uniform in the comparison and cut down on variables.
  • Second, the data is required to be sent to varying Federal agencies (Departments of Education, Labor and Health & Human Services) so they can run their own data supplying the answers to their particular questions and agendas.  Traditional educational data (name, address, emergency information, test results, etc) is expanded to include the social and personal data needed to service the child.
  • Third, this information can be supplied to third parties the Department of Education deems appropriate in the interest of education without your knowledge or permission.
  • Fourth, in the circumvention of the FERPA law, there is no language indicating this information will not be shared with foreign entities.  Why should there be any withholding of this information if it is to be used for the "global good"?
Your family's and child's information will be used from the time your child is born and all through the workforce.  Where will this information be stored?  In the Cloud.  Don't know much about the Cloud?  Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal describing the storage of data by the cloud where data taken from your child will reside:

At its most basic level, the "cloud" is simply the Internet, or the vast array of servers around the world that comprise it. When people say a digital document is stored, or a digital task is being performed in the cloud, they mean that the file or application lives on a server you access over an Internet connection, via a Web browser or app, rather than on "local" devices, like your computer or smartphone.

What are some pitfalls of personal information being stored in the Cloud?

Another problem is privacy. Many of these cloud services have good security, but prying hackers are relentless and smart, so consumers should be careful about what they store in the cloud. You may not care if a family photo is swiped, but your Social Security number is a different matter.

The cloud with "educational" data (paid for by school districts via taxpayers) will store this information and will then be used and/or sold for data driven decisions.  This is ostensibly done to improve education.  Starting at birth, children will now be tracked and assessed and this information entered into the cloud throughout their stint as a public schooled student.  

Here is an article from MIT highlighting Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's speech about how life will be structured for us and our children and our increasing dependence on increased data.  From  MIT News:

A “global mind” comprising humans and computers offers huge opportunities for informed decision-making, democratization of information, and world-wide problem solving, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said at the MIT Sloan School of Management Tuesday.

Schmidt said the rapid accumulation of data will push people to find better ways to solve global problems, with new, faster technology to back them up.

Throughout his talk, titled “The Future of the Global Mind,” delivered before a capacity audience at the Wong Auditorium, Schmidt committed himself to the idea that evolution of and access to technology will benefit humanity. Discussing world leaders’ approach to the global economic crisis, Schmidt said that many world leaders he has met are extremely well-informed about the issues, and can offer thoughtful interpretations of the relevant facts and data.

“Technology is not really about hardware and software any more,” Schmidt said. “It’s really about the mining and use of this enormous [volume of] data” in order to “make the world a better place.”

This is the future of the world envisioned by this current administration as well as it is ignoring FERPA law and writing regulations allowing your child's data to be released to the global cloud.  Do you believe that it is our DATA that will make the world a better place or the PEOPLE inhabiting the world?

If you subscribe to the mindset that people are only important for their data, then you should jump on this technology bandwagon with MIT and Eric Schmidt.  If the endgame is the person's data, the path taken to get there is secondary.  The purpose of educational data is not to improve the education itself, it's to improve the data resulting from the education.  It doesn't matter WHAT the curriculum is...as long as the data is trending upward, it can be deemed a success. 

Do you know you are providing this information on you and your child to venture capitalists and technology companies via the Federal government for free and without your active permission?  Just by your child walking into a public school and receiving services entitles the government to data mine your child.  The data is fed into the cloud and then transmitted to who, what and where?  

When Mr. Schmidt states "the mining and use of this enormous [volume of] data” (is used) in order to “make the world a better place” who is deciding how and why this information is to be used?  Whatever happened to the apparent archaic idea that the individual could affect change on his/her own?  Would Abraham Lincoln have achieved the presidency based on his data set?  Did Lincoln require government intervention (or private research firms) to reach his goal?  Would he have been allowed to pursue his goals based on his data set of failure? 

According to Schmidt's and Arne Duncan's theory, people are valuable on the global level for their data and need to be tracked so an institution, agency and/or entity can "make the world a better place".  This is important to understand.  The data is for the WORLD to become better, NOT the individual.  The need of the state supersedes the desire of the individual.   The information is to be used for governmental systems, the workforce, and private companies making a financial killing interpreting human data sets. 

When children are born today, parents should negotiate a price for the government to take data information for their child. There is no free lunch and there should be no free data taken from your baby for the government to use for its purposes via through the Cloud.  The government belongs to the people, the people do not belong to the state.  The peoples' data does not belong to the state nor should be taken from the people.

As Judy Collins sang in her song about clouds:

But now they only block the sun/They rain and snow on everyone/So many things I would have done/But clouds got in my way

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