One picture. Nine cross-state collaborations. And a company that houses all of the big testing companies and many of the big education reform players as well as some unusual shockers. What in God’s name has the DOE done now? What the hell is “student interventions product, data tagging” and all this other nonsense? Now I can see why Delaware Senator David Sokola and Attorney General Matt Denn were in such a huge rush to get Senate Bill 79 passed. But the original legislation was not what passed. It was the SS1 amendment that was the true goal. Have to say I’m very disappointed Delaware seems to think it can share student data with whoever the hell they want.
And then there is this very disturbing document, taken from Colorado’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grant application for a potential award from the US Department of Education for this year:
And what is this, in the July 2015 newsletter from the CCSSO website:
The privacy workgroup would like to welcome Pat Bush from Delaware as the newest CIO-lead for the group. He joins current CIO leads- Melinda Maddox from Alabama and Marcia Bohannon from Colorado. The leads are meeting this month to continue discussions around the development of a privacy toolkit for SEA leadership and will also identify priority areas for the workgroup to focus on during the new program year.
For those who may not be familiar with CCSSO and SEA, CCSSO is the Council of Chief State School Officers and SEA stands for State Educational Agencies which in Delaware is the Department of Education. Why would the DOE need a privacy “toolkit”?
Back to Senate Bill 79 w/SS1. This bill was rushed through the 148th General Assembly by Senator David Sokola under the hand of Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn. Below is the lobbying activity on this one bill:
To anyone who thinks Senator Sokola is trustworthy and is looking out for kids, think again. But Attorney General Matt Denn’s involvement and the imperative rush to get this through…that’s a headscratcher. Similar bills went through in other states, and nearly all of them had the same amendments added and the lobbyists swarmed in to make sure the following language was added, which is taken from the final legislation for Senate Bill 79:
(6) Nothing in this subsection prohibits an operator from using student data for any of the following:
a. Maintaining, delivering, supporting, evaluating, or diagnosing the operator’s Internet website, online or cloud computing service, online application, or mobile application.
b. Adaptive learning or customized student learning purposes.
(7) Nothing in this subsection prohibits an operator from using or sharing aggregate student data or de-identified student data for any of the following:
a. The development and improvement of the operator’s Internet website, online or cloud computing service, online application, or mobile application, or other educational Internet websites, online or cloud computing services, online applications, or mobile applications.
b. Within other Internet websites, online or cloud computing services, online applications, or mobile applications owned by the operator, and intended for school district, school, or student use, to evaluate and improve educational products or services intended for school district, school, or student use.
c. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the operator’s products or services, including their marketing.
When are Governor Markell and the Delaware DOE going to stop allowing all this data sharing? Not anytime soon. And don’t think this is just Delaware. A company called IMS Global Learning Consortium has ALL the major players involved. They are an umbrella company for data to be shared between all of these companies, with companies that do business with the Delaware DOE and two Delaware School Districts bolded for emphasis:
Act, American Institutes for Research, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Blackboard, California State University, Data Recognition Corporation, ETS, EduCause, Harvard Business Publishing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, IBM, Indian River School District, Intel, Learning.com, Lumen, McGraw Hill Education, Measured Progress, MediaCore, Microsoft, National Student Clearinghouse, Northwest Evaluation Association, Pacific Metrics Corporation, PARCC, Pearson, Public Consulting Group, Qualcomm Education Inc., Questar, Samsung, Schoology, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and numerous other companies and universities in the United States and around the world.
ACE Learning, College Board, Google, Red Clay Consolidated School District, Scantron, Scholastic, SunGard K-12 Education (houses Delaware e-school and IEP Plus), WestEd and many more.
And then they have hundreds of Alliance Participants. You can see what all the members get for their dues to IMS. Pretty extensive list.
When you are a member, you get shared access of the whole network. And which school district does the DOE praise the most and just had an administrator from that district join the State Board of Education? Indian River. And what district will be the recipient of the Wilmington Christina School District students? Red Clay Consolidated.
This company that charges outlandish fees to belong to their network has all the major education players. American Institutes for Research is the vendor for the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Want to know what that means Delaware parents? That means YOUR child’s test results are most likely filtering through this network of companies and universities and school districts. All over the world.
And take a wild guess where they are incorporated?
Delaware parents: by letting your child take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, you are saying it is okay for all these entities around the country and the globe to see your child’s information. It’s okay for them to see the psychometric information American Institutes for Research uses as a result of these assessments. Yes, the Delaware Department of Education isn’t on there. But guess what, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and American Institutes for Research are. And so is their scoring vendor, Data Recognition Corporation. And if Delaware ever changes the state assessment, I’m sure one of the many other testing companies on this list will gladly put in a bid. But you can change that. Aside from the obvious misuse and abuse that comes from Smarter Balanced, we are now learning the data from it is the true goldmine. The only way to stop this is to refuse to have your child take this test. Opt your child out now. Unless, once again, you are okay with all this…
Delaware legislators, this is just yet another reason why you need to override Governor Markell’s veto of the opt-out legislation: House Bill 50. You don’t think the Governor knows about all of this data swapping? Of course he does!
While Delaware didn’t win an award for this year’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System grant, it is very interesting to see the requirements for this, which can be found here,especially Section V.
Are we human? Or are we data?