- what 61 data points are being gathered
- why they are gathered
- which organization/agency mandated this data mining
- where the data is being sent
- what the data is being used for
This was accomplished within the last two years via the Governor and Commissioner signing onto a Memorandum of Understanding with the consortia in May 2010. In July 2011, the consortia signed a MOU with the Department of Education to send it personally identifiable student data. The US Department of Education then can send this information to any other federal agency and third party it deems appropriate. Did you know any of this?
Maybe the legislators can ask DESE why the student data sharing information and practice was never shared with the legislators until House testimony in HB616. The legislators might just want to start this investigation sooner than later as DESE seems to have done some creative budget work with funds earmarked for other purposes which has caused concern in the Capitol. This lack of transparency or operating outside legal boundaries appears to be a systemic problem in Missouri (think of the Mamtek debacle last year and the subsequent Department of Economic Development director's resignation) with state agencies and needs to be addressed by the Legislature. From Department of Revenue bows to Schmitt’s deadline to submit to rule-making process:
“The rulemaking process contains important safeguards for the public. Citizens have a right to comment on rules that will seriously affect them. The department ignored that right,” Schmitt said. “Equally disturbing is that the General Assembly was completely kept in the dark, preventing us from vetting this new policy, a critical part of representing the people’s interests.”
Last month, a Stoddard County resident filed a lawsuit against DOR alleging the department had scanned and collected the citizen’s private information as part of a new policy for renewing or receiving a driver’s license or concealed carry permit.
In response, the Senate launched an investigation into the accusations. Recent developments have shown the Department did not follow the rule-making process in implementing the new policy, a potential violation of state law.
“In recent weeks, we’ve seen a troubling trend of state departments willfully circumventing the law and purposefully deceiving the public and the General Assembly,” Schmitt said. “The Department of Education and Secondary Education has taken it upon itself to decide the distribution of the education formula funds, DOR implemented a policy in direct violation of state law, and now we discovered that the Highway Patrol has twice now given a list of nearly all concealed carry permit holders in Missouri to the federal government, also in violation of Missouri law. This cannot continue.”
Schmitt said he fears the trust of Missourians in their state government is on the line.
“This could fundamentally change how people view our state agencies,” he added. “It is critical we move quickly to address this issue and ensure our departments follow the laws set by the people’s elected officials.
What do all these agencies have in common? Mismanagement, lack of transparency, poor judgment...and the agency directors have all been appointed by the governor, Jay Nixon. Nixon started the ball rolling for a monumental poor educational decision when he signed on to the first MOU with the National Governors Association agreeing to use Common Core standards/assessments (before they were even written) in June 2009 which gave away Missouri's right to direct/develop educational direction.
Should Jay Nixon be investigated for educational malfeasance?