"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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Friday, February 8, 2013

Personal Data Collected and Disseminated via Common Core Standards and P20 Pipelines

P-20 initiatives connect educational systems for increased student performance, greater efficiency, improved outcomes, and smoother pathways throughout a student's career. These factors are of critical importance in a competitive global economy.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) is working on several fronts to help ensure that connections between early childhood, elementary and secondary education, and higher education can create a more seamless pipeline for Missouri students.  from http://www.dhe.mo.gov/p20/

Remember our post in December 2012 Who Benefits from Data Collection?

"These datasets have been gathered from various agencies to provide detailed information on the state of education on all levels, from cradle to career and beyond. - Education Data Community"
Almost a year ago the White House released a fact sheet UNLOCKING THE POWER OF EDUCATION DATA FOR ALL AMERICANS. The three page document contains the commitments of various partners to collect data on every student in America and make it as easy to access as possible for as many interested parties as possible. Ok, they may not have phrased it that way, but if you read what they wrote, that clearly is the intent.

The need for data to track your child is of ultimate importance in education reform policies and establishing a managed work force.  This can be done through information gathered from Common Core state standards, which will be aligned via the common assessments and the Shared Learning Registry some states now share.  From a whitehouse.gov site:

Pearson has committed to supporting open and interoperable systems that put high-quality, personalized learning resources into the hands of teachers and students. In support of this goal, Pearson will share data into the Learning Registry about many of their existing learning resources, including those that support the Common Core State Standards so that they can be used in each student’s personal learning path.

More information from the site on the type of data the Federal Government will be gathering on your student:

Education.data.gov: The Department of Education announced the launch of education.data.gov - the site serves as a central guide for education data resources including high-value data sets, data visualization tools, resources for the classroom, applications created from open data and more. These datasets have been gathered from various agencies to provide detailed information on the state of education on all levels.  (MEW note: If this is on a whitehouse.gov site, it causes a person to wonder how "state led initiatives" are now appearing on a federal link)

The question then must be asked, what does the government consider "high-value data sets on students, open data and more"?  The government does not provide a detailed idea on this site of what the datasets will contain but we have an idea on what to expect from the datasets from the National Education Model and the Illinois Data Warehouse report.  As the Illinois set is aligned with other state data models, you can reasonably expect this will be present in your Common Core state data set.

Listed in these data sets is personal information such as eye color, political affiliation and religion.  Who is interested in your child's data?  Diane Ravitch has an article Who is Buying your Data detailing some of the private organizations having access to educational data.  And here is a report from Utah (which might as well be from Missouri since we are under the same CCSS mandates) informing citizens on why data systems exist and what information they will impart to various federal agencies and private organizations:

Unknown to most parents, children’s data is being shared beyond the school district with six agencies inside the Utah Data Alliance and UTREX, according to Utah Technology Director John Brandt.  The student data is further being “mashed” with federal databases, according to federal Education Dept. Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/07/ed_urges_states_to_make_data_s.html  While John Brandt assures us that only a handful of people in Utah have access to the personally identifiable data of children, recent alterations to federal FERPA (Famly Education Rights Privacy Act) regulations which were made by the U.S. Dept of Education, have radically redefined terms and widened the window of groups who can access private data without parental consent.  For more on that, see the lawsuit against the U.S. Dept of Education on the subject: http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/default.html
What it means:  Courses taken, grades earned, every demographic piece of information, including family names and income, is being watched by the U.S. government via schools.

Verify for yourself: The U.S. Dept. of Education’s own explanation is here, showing why SLDS systems exist:  http://www2.ed.gov/programs/slds/factsheet.html

.... even psychometric and biometric data (behavioral qualities, dna, iris and fingerprints) are also acceptable data collection points, to the Dept. of Education (verify: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ferparegs.pdf  )

Even if your state educational agency (such as MO DESE) doesn't have the data listed it will take from your child and where it will be sent, you can rest assured that if your state is in a consortia because of common core, this data will be disseminated and you won't have a clue on where the data is going, that it is being gathered or for what purposes.  

If you are a visual learner here is a video presentation on P20 education data collection in Oklahoma.  The information gathering and dissemination holds true in Missouri, California, Utah and the other states signing on to  Common Core State Standards.


  1. I agree. God help us.

  2. God helps those who help themselves. Share this with your local school district representatives, and state and local officials.

  3. God helps those who help themselves. Share this with your local school boards, state senators, representatives and governors.


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