Last Wednesday night, both of the Every Student Succeeds Act Discussion Groups met at the Collette Center in Dover. This was the only time both groups will be in the same room. When I walked in, each group was told to sit on their side of the room. The big room will have a partition between the two sides for future meetings. The next one is tomorrow night at 6pm followed by October 17th at the same time. So what did the Delaware Dept. of Education do that was so creepy?
As I looked up at the ceiling, I noticed microphones. Hundreds of microphones, hanging from the ceiling. We were told the meeting was going to be recorded and there are fifty people at the Delaware Department of Education working on different aspects of the new federal education law. Does that include listening to EVERY single conversation taking place during these meetings? In other words, watch what you say because Big Brother is watching you. It seriously creeped me out. Not that microphones tend to stop me from shutting up, but how strong are these microphones? I get recording a meeting. But trying to pick up every single breath members of the discussion groups and even public attendees might let out is a bit overbearing. I intend to bring this subject up at the meeting tomorrow night. There are obviously mechanisms to record public meetings without invading privacy of the members.
Knowing this type of sound surveillance is going on could easily discourage a member of either of the discussion groups from honestly saying how they might feel about something. I shouldn’t be shocked. Many things in ESSA will radically change education to the point that student data won’t be safe at all, like it isn’t now. But it will get worse… much worse! Not a good move on the Delaware DOE’s part…
5 thoughts on “The Delaware DOE Brings On The Creepy At The ESSA Discussion Groups”
hmmm, hundreds? take a photo next time.
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We were there and can concur that there were hundreds of these microphones dangling from the ceiling! Bizarre.
We were told tonight they are only recording public comment. Okay, then why do you need all these microphones to record a public comment?
As someone familiar with microphones, I can tell you that putting so many so close together does nothing but provide feedback… They would have to be all turned off, or someone with a switch would selectively turn one on over a party they were very interested in…..
So either the display was to provide the aforementioned effect of intimidation, or…. it was to randomly sample side discussions,….. in which case, I would have talked non-stop of how Dave Sokola has ruined a once great public educational program… I probably could have talked the whole meeting and only uncovered one tenth of what I had to say… 🙂
On further review it appears that room is also used for adult educational classes and those microphones are to amplify student questions so an entire class can hear… It was just a convenient room to have a meeting.