Thursday, October 6, 2016

Cogs in the machine - OR - Digital DNA of our children is REAL.  has a link to the PDF of the white paper, Cogs in the Machine. Below are some quotes from it.

.....and....I just may be back to blogging!!!

SLDS....why I don't put my kids in public schools, is reiterated in CITM (Cogs in the Machine)....

"establish and use pre-K-through-college and career data systems to track progress and foster continuous improvement . . . This legislation expanded the requirements for state SLDS, mandating that grantee
states track children “from early childhood through the start of a young adult’s career."

Cradle to grave, my friends. Here's more!

 "Department of Health and Human Services. Announced in 2011, ELC was designed to increase the number of children from birth through age five enrolled in a government pre-K program (instead of being at home with family or in private childcare).57 Among other requirements, applicant states were judged on their commitment to “building or enhancing data systems to monitor the status of children’s learning and development from preschool through third grade . . . .”58 These data systems had to contain certain “essential elements,” including child and family demographic information and measures of “language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge (including early mathematics and early scientific development), approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development (including adaptive skills), and social and emotional development.”59 And the states had to demonstrate a “unique statewide child identifier or another highly accurate,
proven method to link data on that child . . . to and from the Statewide Longitudinal Data System  (SLDS)"

Cradle to grave, my friends. Yes, I said it already but it needs reiterating. THIS IS REAL. No joke. No conspiracy theory needed.

"The American Civil Liberties Union has noted:
According to the Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy, which reviewed the state data collection practices on K-12 students in all 50 states, data collected by particular states includes pregnancy, mental health information, criminal history, birth order, victims of peer violence, parental education, medical test results, and birth weight. The study also found that information was not being handled in compliance with current law, and that there were no clear rules for accessing the information"

This means schools are collecting data on over 400 points, things/points of data like birth order, even......who needs to know this? And if there are NO CLEAR RULES FOR ACCESSING THIS  info, let alone data breeches, ANYONE can conceivably KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR CHILD....even their address, etc, this is CHILD EXPLOITATION MANDATED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT. Sorry for the cap letters but this is something so few know or want to believe but it is true and I'm livid about it.

But wait there's more. This extends, as said, cradle to grave. Here's part of the cradle section;

"ECDC released a February 2014 report finding that only Pennsylvania, so far, links “child-level data” across all early-education programs and its K-12 system, but nearly every other state plans to create such linkages in the near future.his requires using a unique student ID number, which some states generate using birth certificates.The comprehensive type of data ECDC encourages states to collect includes body-mass index, developmental
screenings, and information collected from home visits.Thirty states currently link some early-childhood data to K-12 data and, thanks to federal prodding through SLDS grants and Head Start funding, nearly all plan to expand and centralize their data-collection on small children. A bipartisan preschool expansion bill in Congress right now, titled the “Strong Start for America’s Children Act,” would require states to tie early-childhood data to K-12 systems. "

More to come!!!

Monday, March 14, 2016


just an interesting link to investigate, chock-full of more links to articles on data collection.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Data Collection on Children, A Security Crisis

"I think anyone should know my child's religion, prenatal care information, physical appearance, behavioral health, allergies, browsing history, home address, and then some... without my permission. I mean, that Target credit card breach a few years ago wasn't fun enough"  said no parent ever.

But as we delve further into a world of Big Data, we as consumers are constantly at risk of data security breaches, such as the Target credit card fiasco, Premera Healthcare, Home Depot, and the US Military to name a few seen in an info graphic here.   Millions upon millions of people's social security numbers, credit card numbers, and worse were jeopardized.  Your child could be next.

But don't worry, the US Government ensures you that your child's health and education data is safe and secure - never mind that the US military and the IRS had security breeches, you're safe, trust us, we're the government.

Ok, you say, but what info can schools possibly have on my child? Maybe their name, birthdate, and report card grades? No big deal.

But it is.

Because schools collect a whole lot more on your child and even you yourself, if you are a caretaker of your child. Remember a teacher's empty threat, "This will go down on your permanent record"? It is no longer a threat but an Orwellian reality.

To highlight key points of a Washington Post Article,  there is indeed a lot more being collected on your child and family than you could ever suspect, and it is not secure as you would hope.

To quote a quote within a quote in the  aforementioned Washington Post Article,  

"During a February 2015 congressional hearing on “How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy,” Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin asked the panel to “provide a summary of all the information collected by the time a student reaches graduate school.” Joel Reidenberg, director of the Center on Law & Information Policy at Fordham Law School, responded:
“Just think George Orwell, and take it to the nth degree. We’re in an environment of surveillance, essentially. It will be an extraordinarily rich data set of your life.” "
To expand upon this, which I will mention again in this blog post, the government is creating a "rich data set" of health data, school data, and career data as one. Reidenberg is not exaggerating with his haunting statement on the Orwellian at a set being put into place RIGHT NOW.

Resistance is futile.

"Most student data is gathered at school via multiple routes; either through children’s online usage or information provided by parents, teachers or other school staff. A student’s education record generally includes demographic information, including race, ethnicity, and income level; discipline records, grades and test scores, disabilities and Individual Education Plans (IEPs), mental health and medical history, counseling records and much more.
Under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), medical and counseling records that are included in your child’s education records are unprotected by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act passed by Congress in 1996). Thus, very sensitive mental and physical health information can be shared outside of the school without parent consent."
Even as your child, an unwilling pawn,  simply clicks "3" on some educational software game in the classroom, data is being collected and disseminated. Not only may their results be collected (as in "got 8/10 multiplication problems correct") but their browsing behavior is collected for non-education reasons- for profit- to help target advertisement as explained here.  
Your child's test scores, in fact their entire academic record, are "uploaded" and can be given or sold to "educational" people and organizations. Your child's behavior record , any school counseling, and all medical records that the school has are included as well. Special Education students have a plethora of private data in their IEPs which is, you guessed it, available to those who have a justifiable reason (a loose meaning of the term) to access it.
And to repeat a very key point, your child's information can legally be shared outside of the school without your consent
Much of this data is part of the SLDS or Statewide Longitudinal Data System, which can be summed up here, and it is actually far more than it seems to be. One might envision a "virtual transcript" for each student, but it aims to collect far more for far longer, as part of the SLDS- linked P-16 (a.k.a. P-20, B-20, P12), a literal cradle to the grave data set on each child. Just google P-20 and you will find more information than you need, from most every state, school district, and college in the nation. Wikipedia does a satisfactory job of summarizing it very briefly here; there is far much more to explain and learn if you wish. One key point is that it states each child has a unique, secure identifier to NOT link the data to the person, but many schools do not know how to encrypt student data (not to mention the risk of "hackers"), mentioned here- student data should be, and often is, encrypted, but there is no law in place to ensure it is encrypted.
So what data is indeed being collected? Every state, and indeed every school collects different information, but any information collected by the school in any form can easily be part of the data set. The CEDS or Common Educaton Data Standards list all sets of information which can be collected on students, and disseminated to employers (a.k.a. the workforce), colleges, research organizations, curriculum/textbook companies, school staff, government employees (such as those in health or education departments) to name a few. The CEDS "list" of data is here  and here (a blog post of mine)  through California's SLDS called CALPADs,  and includes parameters for data on your child such as; 
* class start time
* home address
*family income
* disciplinary record including perpetrator, witness, and victim information
*  developmental delays and programs offered thereof
* prenatal care information and gestational age at birth/birth weight
* incarceration data  (a blog post of mine mentions this, look for FETPIP in a graphic here
* Bus stop place and time
* religious considerations
* height, weight, other physical identifiers

I just ask all readers to think: If a school doesn't encrypt this data (therefore it connects your child's name to all this information) or someone "hacks" this data, are you comfortable with that data "out there"? In a best case scenario, are you comfortable with this data being collected on your children? Do you feel your prenatal care information, mental health data, etc should be provided to your child's future employer, a textbook company, a university student collecting data?