Update: January 22, 2013

House Bill 2133 for Student Privacy has been pulled from Executive Session for revisions and will be rescheduled for a committee vote next week.

Stay tuned.

What is the issue with student privacy?

There are a few:

It used to be that students’ grades, disciplinary records, teachers comments and test scores on standardized tests were kept in files that could only be accessed by personnel in the school or the district. Not so anymore.

The requirements now, thanks to Race to the Top, are that school districts are to hand over more student information than most parents would feel comfortable doing… if they knew what was being collected.

For as little as $1M, our district will be required to turn over a vast amount of information. This will cost the district far more than any amount of money that is rewarded. See The Road Map Project, Race to the Top, Bill Gates and your student’s privacy for the details.

Here are a few items that are being demanded (remarks in italics are mine):

Children ready to succeed in school by kindergarten (will this require pre-K testing?)

Students triggering Early Warning Indicator 1 and 2*

* Early warning indicators are for 6th and 9th grade students. EW1: Six or more absences and one or more course failure(s). EW2: One or more suspension(s) or expulsion(s)

Students who graduate high school on time

Students at community and technical colleges enrolling in pre-college coursework

Students who enroll in postsecondary education by age 24 (this will require tracking students beyond high school graduation)

Students who earn a post-secondary credential by age 24 (ditto)

Children born weighing less than 5.5 pounds

Families reading to their children daily

Children meeting age-level expectations at the end of preschool (Pre-school testing?)

English language learning students making progress in learning English

Students absent 20 or more days per year

Students who make a non-promotional school change

Students motivated and engaged to succeed in school (How is this measured?)

Students attending schools with low state achievement index ratings

Females age 15-17 giving birth

8th graders reporting select risk factors on the Healthy Youth Survey

Students exhibiting 21st century skills (?)

High school graduates completing a formal career and technical education program (This also requires tracking students beyond high school)

Graduating College Bound students who have completed the FAFSA

Students who directly enroll in postsecondary education

Students who did not complete high school on time who achieve a postsecondary credential

Students employed within 1 and 5 years of completing or leaving postsecondary education, including wage (Again, a requirement to track students past high school graduation.)

There is additional information that is required. To see the details, go to CCER, the Road Map Project and the loss of student privacy.

Is this more than you want others to know about your child?

Is it OK with you that any third-party who has an interest, commercial or otherwise, will be able to access this information including the Seattle Times?

Do you think this requirement for data could ultimately expand into additional areas of a students’ life?

House Bill 2133, Maintaining privacy of student educational records, has been revised since the public hearing last Wednesday.

The revised bill will require parental or guardian notification and consent for the sharing of student information.

If you are concerned and you live in the state of Washington, then contact the House Committee on Education and let them know as soon as possible. The committee will be meeting this Wednesday, January 22nd, to vote on whether the bill will move forward or not.

Santos, Sharon Tomiko (D) Chair JLOB 321 (360) 786-7944
Stonier, Monica (D) Vice Chair JLOB 309 (360) 786-7994
Dahlquist, Cathy (R) * JLOB 426 (360) 786-7846
Magendanz, Chad (R) ** JLOB 427 (360) 786-7876
Bergquist, Steve (D) JLOB 322 (360) 786-7862
Fey, Jake (D) JLOB 330 (360) 786-7974
Haigh, Kathy (D) JLOB 320 (360) 786-7966
Hargrove, Mark (R) JLOB 409 (360) 786-7918
Hawkins, Brad (R) LEG 122G (360) 786-7832
Hayes, Dave (R) JLOB 467 (360) 786-7914
Hunt, Sam (D) LEG 438B (360) 786-7992
Klippert, Brad (R) JLOB 410 (360) 786-7882
Lytton, Kristine (D) JLOB 310 (360) 786-7800
Muri, Dick (R) JLOB 424 (360) 786-7890
Orwall, Tina (D) JLOB 326 (360) 786-7834
Parker, Kevin (R) JLOB 421 (360) 786-7922
Pollet, Gerry (D) JLOB 317 (360) 786-7886
Seaquist, Larry (D) LEG 132C (360) 786-7802
Warnick, Judy (R) LEG 427 (360) 786-7932

Next we will need to know who is getting what in terms of our student’s data. Too many agreements have been made behind closed doors about student information without our knowledge.

Submitted by Dora Taylor

Post Script:

How Murdoch, Bill Gates and Big Corporations Are Data Mining Our Schools

gates mining

Last week, students across New York finished a set of tests taken over a two week period designed to measure their proficiency at reading and math against new federal college readiness standards known as Common Core. Some parents opted their children out of the exams in protest against what they described as the school system’s over-emphasis on testing and its use of data as the principle indicator of their children’s achievement.

Starting next year, those scores, along with students’ personal information – race, economic background, report cards, discipline records and personal addresses – will be stored in a database designed by Wireless Generation, a subsidiary of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

That’s right, Rupert Murdoch can read your child’s report card anytime he likes and he knows where your kid is sleeping. The database will be managed by inBloom inc, a non-profit outfit that, like Wireless Generation, is under the domain of billionaire Bill Gates – who, together with the Carnegie Corporation and other philanthropic organizations, set up the company via his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

inBloom is receiving $50 million for their services from the New York Education Department through a contract awarded last fall. Data analyzing firms, educational software designers and other third-party venders, both for and not-for-profit, will be granted access to student information.

inBloom is receiving $50 million for their services from the New York Education Department through a contract awarded last fall. Data analyzing firms, educational software designers and other third-party venders, both for and not-for-profit, will be granted access to student information.

New York is not alone in turning to student data tracking system to measure performance. Some 200,000 U.S. teachers use Wireless Generation software as part of a national trend in which education administrators are increasingly turning to data analysis to grasp why America’s pupils are flunking when compared to the rest of the world.

To read more on this, go to the Indypendent.