Obama’s “Race to the Top” Agenda (Part 2)
States Under Republican Leadership Fall For the Carrot: Children Sold-Out for a Profit
by Anita Hoge
The Next Generation School agenda will use “Personally Identifiable Information,” (PII), to create this ” learning genome” or the IEP for the individual child. Data has been UNLOCKED by Obama, so that, any foundation, business, corporation, non-profit, etc, can access data for free from personal micro-records collected by the government through testing and record keeping, to align software and curriculum for children to meet these government Common Core Standards. A customized, individual education plan, or Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be developed for every child, and technology will help the system accomplish their goals.
Families will be drawn into this agenda by stroking them into believing this IEP is for the good of their child. They will use words like learning styles, citizenship, character, career paths, civic learning and engagement. Here is the point, these attributes sound good, but they cannot be tested and scored in a pluralistic society. Do you want your child to be taught to the best of their abilities, or do you want them to be stymied toward only attaining government standards? One is a ceiling, the other is a floor. Remember the design down approach. You will design down from a ceiling, the only content that will be taught are Common Core Standards: you design up from the floor where the sky is the limit. The United States never had a ceiling on knowledge and we can confirm and document that there is a “Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” (author, Charlotte Iserbyt). We are talking about functional literacy, but with the right attitudes and values.
Ask yourself this question, “How do you measure character, or honesty, and integrity?” What is measured in Citizenship? How will these standards be scored? The answer is psychological testing and probing, writing about argumentation and challenging the students point of view or fixed beliefs. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, (NAEP), researched the testing of attitudes and values in Pennsylvania. Documents show that the Department of Education said it depended on the sophistication of your school district as whether you told parents about the testing. Citizenship tested thresholds, self esteem tested locus of control. They came under the umbrella of Quality Goals of Education, all scored to a minimum positive attitude according to reward and punishment, all according to the government group goals and group efforts…collectivism. Pennsylvania had to withdraw this controversial test. Is it appearing again in computerized IEP’s?
Notice that the assessments, which are most important to collecting data on the individual, are linked to a new kind of credentialing. This new diploma will determine who is college bound or career bound in workforce training. The 20-80 percent agenda applies, those selected for college, those selected for workforce training. The agenda for teaching careers, starting in Kindergarten, or before in pre-school, will direct the child’s learning path. ACT reported this past summer that testing will begin in Kindergarten to test the whole child to direct them toward a career. Work Keys, also an ACT credentialing program for the workforce also tests students in the affective domain, the testing of attitudes. These workforce standards were all spelled out in SCANS, Secretaries Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, from the Department of Labor. School to Work accomplishes the goal through direct intervention and guidance toward a new caste system of work that is being designed for Americans. At the State of the Union address the President also talked about a Race to the Top for high schools: “The President will call on Congress to consider value, affordability, and student outcomes in making determinations about which colleges and universities receive access to federal student aid, either by incorporating measures of value and affordability into the existing accreditation system; or by establishing a new, alternative system of accreditation that would provide pathways for higher education models and colleges to receive federal student aid based on performance and results.” A Degree Qualification Profile is also being developed for college students by the Lumina Foundation documented in The Crucible Moment, Civic Learning and Engagement for global citizenship. Same standards, same objectives, testing college students in the affective domain, no one escapes having the ‘right attitudes.’
Teacher training must also change to the new agenda. Differentiated roles, new career pathways, modular use of people and resources, redefined preparation, selection, licensing, and development.
In summary, this is a synopsis of current developments with questions that should be answered.
Data is ” unlocked” by President Obama. He awards specific private partnerships to develop systems, technology, software, and curriculum toward individual students meeting common core standards. These partnerships have been experimenting in Race to the Top school districts. Link
FERPA is expanded January, 2012, without Congressional oversight. New regulations permits any organization, business, non-profit, foundation, etc., to be a “school official” that can access individual records of individual students for research. This expansion will include the private partnerships who will gain to make huge profits alluded to in unlocking the data.
The individualized packages become ” learning genomes” that test and teach to the whole child. The whole child includes a psychological component of attitudes, emotions, values, and beliefs. What values will be taught? Who controls the standards? Can a computerized model teach attitudes and values? Will social justice and economic democracy be taught? Will the subject matter have a conservative or liberal bent? Who decides what the standards will be?
Do these contractors pay for the data on our children? Are they using the data to make a profit? Example, are contractors developing testing, software, or curriculum that must be paid for by the taxpayer when they get our children’s data for free? Most businesses PAY for lists of people and are very expensive. Who are the contractors? Are these businesses just vendors out to make a profit?
Experts in tax law say that non-profit organizations like ACT, a testing contractor, the Pearson Foundation, as well as, their partnership with the Gates Foundation who are creating “a full series of digital instruction resources,” appear to be using their tax exempt foundations to push its business interests. Is this a violation of the federal tax code? How many other non-profit organizations are using this data for profit?
Once data was unlocked by Obama, FERPA was relaxed, the issue of longitudinal data collection that follows an individual from birth to career has a huge new privacy concern. The “unlocked” data on an individual is now allowed to be accessed by “others” deemed school officials other than the Strict guidelines that were proposed under the Hanson Memorandum which required that under the ‘‘audit or evaluation exception,’’ only an authorized representative of a State educational authority must be a party under the direct control of that authority, e.g., an employee or a contractor to access the data. FERPA rescinds the Hanson Memorandum which open the flood gates of data flowing to outside contractors now called school officials. The issue becomes, who has direct access?
The new direction in education is that the money funded through Title I will, ” follow the child.” This, in effect, will have curriculum and software that would directly “affect” the individual child in a customized, or personalized education plan to meet government standards. In other words, particular organizations will have direct access to each students’ profile to test and prepare instructional programs toward government goals on the computer. Nothing will come between the child and the computer.
Is the datum on individuals, which will assuredly be used for the personalized education modules in the new ESEA Title I regulations and new IDEA regulations being proposed, paid for as Intellectual Property to that individual, since a profit will be made on their information that is collected without their consent or the consent of the parent? Is your child a commodity for their personal data to be sold without your permission and without reasonable compensation? These proposed regulations will have federal dollars ” follow the child.” Are there not federal protections?
Data trafficking between the Department of Education and other outside contractors may contribute to violations of Cyber Security Laws when re-disclosure of personally identifiable data is shared and does NOT request informed written parental permission of uses. Is the DOE taking chances that security will not be breached on data that is so personal and private? Is it legal to allow outside contractors access to children’s records? Is this safe? Where are the federal protections for children?
It’s NOT about academics. What type of data is being collected by the testing contractors? ACT, a testing contractor, states that it is testing the “whole child”. Is psychological information being collected to produce curriculum for ” behavior change?” This is a quote directly from the testing contractor, “The assessment would look beyond academics to get a complete picture of the whole student,” stated Jon Erickson of ACT. “There would be interest inventories for students, as well as assessment of behavioral skills for students and teachers to evaluate.” Are these tests legally allowed to use psychological tests without informed parental consent? Is this a revisiting from the old External Quality Assessment/National Assessment of Educational Progress (EQA/NAEP) from Pennsylvania?
Demand an investigation into the illegal dissemination of personally identifiable information from the Department of Education regarding these possible violations of privacy. Carbon copy everyone. Newspapers, privacy organizations, everyone.
These questions MUST be answered by your Congressman and Senator once they understand the violations of privacy, freedom, and other violations of law. Investigate FERPA. Stop Choice and the ESEA Title I stipends for individual students with federal strings attached. Stop psychological testing without informed written consent. Stop unconstitutional Charter Schools. Dismantle the Department of Education.
Note: Historical documentation from “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America,” by Charlotte Iserbyt, mentor and friend.
For information about testing attitudes and values, see “Getting Inside the EQA Inventory,” Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Stupski workshop presentation: http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/46399963.ppt