Data Tracking and the Common Core

One of the things that isn’t being discussed enough, but is getting attention is how data tracking of students is connected to the Common Core. 

It isn’t just assessment scores.  Joy Pullman pointed that out in her article last week on data mining:

The department is also funding and mandating databases that could expand each kid’s academic records into a comprehensive personal record, including “health-care history, disciplinary record, family income range, family voting status, and religious affiliation,”according to a 2012 Pioneer Institute report and the National Center for Educational Statistics. Under agreements every state signed to get 2009 stimulus funds, they must share students’ academic data with the federal government.

As Utah blogger Christel Swasey has documented, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) used to protect highly personal psychological and biological information, including items mentioned above and,according to the DOE, “fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting.”

Under the DOE’s 2011 FERPA reinterpretation, however, any local, state, or federal agency may designate any individual or organization as an “educational representative” who can access such data—as long as the agency says this access is necessary to study or evaluate a program. These can include school volunteers and companies. A lawsuit against the regulations is pending.

Missouri Education Watchdog points out how this is tied to the Common Core.

They introduce a video from eScholar that makes the whole process seem benign.


  Gretchen Logue then writes:

eScholar is a company funded by government money to gather over 3000 data points on your child and teachers so your child doesn’t get “off track”.  Since when did the government start tracking human behavior and making the determination of what is “off track” and what is a child’s “greatest potential”?  Isn’t that up to the child and his/her parents?

Can anyone answer this question?  How can eScholar offer a “personalized track” for “Bobby” when “Bobby” is stuck in a “common” educational system?

Watch the CEO’s speech at the White House on his view of data and why he believes it is important to track individual data on each student.  Again, it sounds noble, innocent and non-threatening.  A student’s future is dependent on the data.  At 9:25 he mentions how  Common Core ties this all together.  A studentmust determine if his/her goals are  successfully tied into a common skill set.

What do you think would happen and what could go wrong if “Bobby’s” strongest skills and talents did not align with the Common Core skill set prescribed by SBAC or PARCC?

Read the whole article from Missouri Education Watchdog, it is a must-read.

Just remember this is something that is done without our permission and as one family was told on Friday it is something that we can not opt out of.

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

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