"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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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Showing Initiative Used to be a Good Thing - Maybe Not So Much Anymore

Initiatives -another name for newly formed, soon to be mandatory, programs that you are probably not going to like.

On C-Span this week Hillary Clinton and S.M. Krishna, Indian External Affairs Minister, gave a joint press conference on the issue of U.S.-India Relations.  In the press conference, Hillary mentioned Obama's "Knowledge Initiative".   For those unfamiliar, you can find more about it on the White House website.

Once there you will find a link to "The Power of Open Education Data" described as: 
"Technology, data, and entrepreneurs can help with college affordability—as well as help address our national priorities in K-12 education.
(more from the website) 

That’s why we are excited about the Education Data Initiative, an Administration-wide effort to “liberate” government data and voluntarily-contributed non-government data as fuel to spur entrepreneurship, create value, and create jobs while improving educational outcomes for students. The Education Data Initiative is part of a recently announced series of Open Data Initiatives in energy, health care, public safety, and education to spark new private-sector consumer-facing and business-oriented tools, products, and services – such as mobile apps and websites– all while rigorously protecting personal, proprietary, and national security information."
What are these "Open Data Initiatives"?
The Presidential Innovation Fellows will pair top innovators from the private sector, non-profits, or academia with top innovators in government to collaborate on game-changing solutions that aim to deliver significant results in six months. 
Stimulate a rising tide of innovation and entrepreneurship that utilizes government data to create tools that help Americans in numerous ways – e.g., apps and services that help people find the right health care provider, identify the college that provides the best value for their money, save money on electricity bills through smarter shopping, or keep their families safe by knowing which products have been recalled.
The Open Data Initiatives program aims to “liberate” government data and voluntarily-contributed corporate data to fuel entrepreneurship, improve the lives of Americans in many tangible ways, and create jobs.
One more initiative that is related, the "Knowledge Trade Initiative" started under Clinton and expanded under Bush.
The KTI is a bilateral forum between India and the U.S. to discuss key issues affecting the trade of knowledge-based products and services between the two countries. The KTI aims to solidify Indo-US leadership in the knowledge economy by harmonizing bilateral positions on key issues affecting knowledge trade.
The end result is actually India draining our country of knowledge jobs and becoming the leader of the new economy.

Government and industry hand in hand, sharing private data about you to improve everyone's life.  I wish someone would have taken the initiative to ask us first if we want all these initiatives.

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