“K – 12 Student Database Jazzes Tech Startups, Spooks Parents” Disturbing? Sure.

kidsread-sandpic“A $100 million database built to chart the academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school.”

This database apparently already holds files on millions of students, who are identified by name, address, social security number, disability, attitude, hobbies, career goals,…

In so many words, technology at its worst. This information on our children/students will be shared with private companies that sell educational products and services to whomever is deemed to have a “legitimate educational interest”.

What does that even mean? And who is the person deciding what is a legitimate educational interest?

In 2008, the personal information of nearly every student in Sarasota County, Florida, was made public on the Internet due to the mistake of the private company hired by the county. The student records were online for almost 2 months (http://m2.tbo.com/content/2008/aug/20/200829/fla-student-test-scores-online-security-breach/).

             Of course, the educational companies will try their sales pitch in which they will reassure parents of the ways this database will allow for curtailing of instruction so that little Johnny can learn decimals through a baseball game. In the end, it all comes to selling school districts material with the sole purpose of obtaining huge contracts and making profit.

              I am all for offering students better instruction. The one size fits all never worked and failed most kids. We can reach that through technology and teacher training instead of tracking students’ progress in a mass database that will only place students in boxes with labels and cause a great privacy issue.

Reading links:

“K-12 Student Database Jazzes Tech Startups, Spooks Parents”, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/03/us-education-database-idUSBRE92204W20130303

“Sarasota Student Test Scores Online In Security Breach”, http://m2.tbo.com/content/2008/aug/20/200829/fla-student-test-scores-online-security-breach/

Stay informed!

Get involved!

Lena, M. Ed.

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