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Blasting the cover off school data mining

Blasting the Cover Off School Data Mining 

By Marilyn Snyder

Published in the Redlands Daily Facts, October 3, 2013

If someone told you that your child who attends a Red­lands public school was re­quired to reveal to school au­thorities information about your religion, political affilia­tion, income range, and fami­ly’s health history, would you want to know more before you got really, really angry?

If your child was already setting family records for the most parent-teacher confer­ences in a one-month period, would you want that disciplin­ary information along with your child’s name to be in a da­tabase collected by his school and delivered to the Depart­ment of Education (USDE), then made available to the De­partments of Labor and Health and Human Services or any other organization that wants it?

Would you be stomping down to the principal’s office tomorrow to find out how your family’s personal information could possibly be disseminated like that?

Start stomping.

The state of California has spoken and the Redlands Uni­fied School District must obey.

Why? “Because we said so, that’s why.”

Sorry, that’s the entire an­swer you will get from the edu­cation establishment. Here’s a brief of how the schools gained that kind of authority over you and your family.

Three years ago, a bare two months after the Common Core Standards (CCS) were fi­nalized by two Washington, D.C., trade associations, the California State Board of Edu­cation adopted them.

No doubt you and the rest of us were all on summer va­cation.

With no public discussion or input from school districts, teachers, parents or citizens, national standards in grades 1 through 12 English Language Arts and Mathematics were imposed on California schools.

But wouldn’t you think that if California, along with 45 other states, were going to sign on to these over-reaching na­tional standards, the hoopla would have been humongous?

Even typical tea party mem­bers who stress the impor­tance of following the Constitu­tion and want smaller govern­ment control tend not to have heard about CCS.

What kind of standards are they, anyway? And why should you care?

To look at the government version of CCS, go to www. corestandards.org.

There you’ll find the spiffy official version.

To hear a contrary opinion, check out the Stop the Com­mon Core videos, Parts 1-5, on www.youtube.com. Or keep reading this column.

As an educator who desires greater adherence to the Con­stitution, I appreciate that ed­ucation was originally held to be a local issue, that each school district in the coun­try could determine their own curricula depending on their needs.

That RUSD can no longer determine the language arts and math curricula of its stu­dents stuns me.

How can that be? Because California had to agree to make no changes or deletions to the CCS when they adopted them. And that means you have absolutely no recourse if you don’t like them.

That RUSD must collect personal data on children and families and give that data to the government is a blow be­neath the belt.

It was horrendous when we discovered that the Na­tional Security Agency (NSA) was collecting every Verizon phone call. It got worse when it was revealed that their data mining included every sin­gle phone call in the country … and every email … and ev­ery text.

But now that the current administration’s USDE is re­quiring states to hand over personally identifiable data — well, that’s more than a little 1984-ish, isn’t it?

CCS is a foot in the door of federalized control of educa­tion.

Actually, it’s more like a blasting cap in the secret data mining done by the federal government.

If the feds have a data­base of every child in the U.S. starting in first grade, how extensive will that database look by the time they turn 18? Is that OK with you?

For more info, www.stop commoncore.com, www.red­landsteaparty. com, or attend tonight’s RTPP meeting where Lydia Gutierrez, candidate for California State Superinten­dent of Public Instruction, will address the topic of the Com­mon Core.

Want to organize a stomp­ing party?

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