As one may surmise, one of my biggest apprehensions regarding CCSS (Common Core Standards) is the LDS (Longitudinal Data Sysyem) collections proposed.
I found a document http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011602.pdf that had some interesting information that I will copy and paste here. Enjoy!
The Fair Information Practice of Data
Minimization and Retention calls for “only
collecting personally identifiable information that
is directly relevant and necessary to accomplish
the specified purpose(s). [And for] only retaining
personally identifiable information for as long as
is necessary to fulfill the specified purpose(s).”
This sounds innocent but who decides what is relevant and necessary, and for how long? With P-20 in position, the information could be viable and important for more than 20 years of a person's life. The types of data could include psychological profiles, behavioral records, health records and religious affiliation, to name a few. http://truthinamericaneducation.com/privacy-issues-state-longitudinal-data-systems/privacy-invasiondata-mining/what-400-data-points/ links to https://ceds.ed.gov/elements.aspx?v=3&ex= and http://nces.ed.gov/forum/datamodel/eiebrowser/techview.aspx?instance=studentPostsecondary which outline these proposed records to be collected on students. Each to their own, but who wants this information collected on their children, especially when the length of time and who views the data remains vague?
Perhaps I am paranoid but thus next excerpt shows my worst fears;
"Linkage with information from an external
source could occur as a result of a direct linkage
by someone with access to two confidential
data systems who is able to directly link the two
databases (e.g., the student record linked to local
public health records on sexually transmitted
diseases or local crime records) or as a result of a
less direct linkage of information from a student’s
education record with information available in
public records (e.g., the education record for a
15-year-old Asian female includes participation
in services for unmarried pregnant students, and
public birth records could be used to identify
the father of the student’s child. Alternatively, an
education record might show that a 13-year-old
female student was the victim of a violent assault
during the school day on a specific date (without
the specifics of the assault). Meanwhile, a report
in a local newspaper, while protecting the direct
identifiers of the victim, reveals some of the details
of an assault on a female student in that school on
the same date)."
The collection of data has purpose which to me seems to conflict, Case in point;
"INSTRUCTION—Teacher and counselors
need information about an individual
student’s previous educational experiences
and any special needs the student might have
to deliver appropriate instruction and services
and to plan educational programs; parent
contact information is needed to keep parents
informed of student progress.
» OPERATIONS—Schools and districts need
data for individual students to ensure the
efficiency of day-to-day functions such as
attendance records, meeting individual
students’ special needs, handling individual
students’ health problems, and operating food
service and transportation programs.
» MANAGEMENT—Schools, districts, and
state education agencies use data about
students for planning and scheduling
educational programs and for the distribution
of resources. ACCOUNTABILITY—Schools, districts,
and state education agencies use data
about students and about individual
students’ progress to provide information
about students’ accomplishments and
the effectiveness of schools and specific
» RESEARCH AND EVALUATION—Schools,
local, state, and federal education agencies
use data about students and about individual
students’ progress to conduct analysis
of program effectiveness, the success
of student subgroups, and changes in
achievement over time to identify effective
instructional strategies and to promote school
I understand the purposes outlined here and agree with them, having had managed two schools' data a few years ago. But what does the information about an assault on campus that was reported in the news? How would maternal last name, religious affiliation, and website URL be used in the classroom, or at the state and federal level to improve instruction?
Again, I remind you of P20, that these records will follow you through life:
"To facilitate the
usefulness of this information, the legislation
also calls for an alignment between P–12 and
postsecondary data systems, which requires
linkages between student and teacher records,
between preschool and elementary education, and
between secondary and postsecondary education
and the workforce."
It seems who will access student information remains unspecified, and the most private data such as biometrics and social security numbers are of course of highest concern. This document states that such records wqill only be accessed by and for a need to know basis but there lacks a definition of "need to know".
"After the risk level is established, consideration
should be given to providing more protection
and more restrictions on access for the data
elements that are identified as highly sensitive.
For example, these data elements might be stored
apart from the rest of the student record in a
more secure electronic environment, with access
limited to “need to know” circumstances for only
a subset of those with access to the system."
One possible relief is the proposal to give students unique identifier numbers (California already has such a thing) separate from their Social Security number; the article adds a second layer of security that at least did not exist in California during the 2010-2011 school year; a unique linking code to access social security numbers which few have access to, so that Social Security numbers will be more secure.
Who might be managing your child's data or accessing the linking codes? Well,
"PII carries a potential for misuse. As a result, it is
advisable to require security screenings for staff
members whose job responsibilities require them
to have access to PII in student education records.
The screening might include a background
investigation using written, electronic, telephone,
or personal contact to determine the suitability,
eligibility, and qualifications of a staff member for
This sounds great, yet humans are, well, human. Every year across the nation, teachers with supposed clean records and qualifications attend yearly training of confidentiality and test procedures, signing legally binding affidavits and yet every year there are teachers and administrators across the nation breaching confidentiality of these tests. Therefore, how can a similar procedure protect your child's data with 100% assuredness?
Stay tuned for part II of my analysis of this document.