For Information: Jon Loevy, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 312.243.5900, firstname.lastname@example.org Scott Drury, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 312.243.5900, email@example.com Andy Thayer, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 773.209.1187, firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Testing Giant “College Board” Sued for Illegally Collecting & Selling Students’ Data
Parent filed a federal class action suit today against the College Board, a ubiquitous student testing organization, for deceptively collecting and selling students’ confidential personal information.
While formally a not-for-profit, the College Board has approximately $1 billion in annual revenues each year and highly compensates its slew of executives, including its president who received over $1.5 million in 2017 compensation. Much of the revenues come from administering the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9 and Advanced Placement Exams (“AP”).
According to the suit, the College Board ramped up these revenues using deceptive practices to market a “Student Search Service” to test takers, falsely making it appear as if the service would assist them in getting into colleges and universities. However, “College Board’s true purpose in obtaining the personal information was to sell it to third party organizations in order to increase its already substantial revenues.”
Each year, hundreds of thousands of Illinois students, and millions of students nationwide, take one or more standardized tests provided by College Board. The suit, which seeks nationwide class status, estimates that over 5 million students in the United States were damaged by the College Board’s actions.
The suit alleges that the College Board’s sale of students’ personal information violated Illinois’ consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices laws, and allowed the College Board to unjustly enrich itself and unlawfully invade students’ privacy. It further alleges that the College Board violated the Children’s Privacy Protection Act (325 ILCS § 17/20) when it sold data about students under 16 years of age without parental consent. The suit seeks to enjoin the College Board from any further sales of student data, as well as other damages.
The attorneys seeking to represent the classes are Michael Kanovitz and Scott Drury of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms and has won more multi-million-dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country.
A copy of today’s suit, Mark S., on behalf of himself and as parent and guardian of his minor child, A.S., and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals v. College Board, No 1:19-cv-08068, is available here.
A federal law protecting children under
the age of 13, The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (or COPPA),
is about to be weakened by the FTC. Parents, teachers, those who care about
children should pay attention. If you think parents should have a say in how
their young child’s information is collected and shared and used on the
internet– NOW is the time to speak up.
If you are not familiar with COPPA, thisNovember 3, 1999 notice in TheFederal Register summarizes the intent and purpose of COPPA when it was passed. Below are a few excerpts
“Congress enacted the COPPA to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices in connection with the collection, use, or disclosure of personally identifiable information from and about children on the Internet.”
“The Rule implements the requirements of the COPPA by requiring operators of websites or online services directed to children and operators of websites or online services who have actual knowledge that the person from whom they seek information is a child
(1) to post prominent links on their websites to a notice of how they collect, use, and/or disclose personal information from children;
(2) with certain exceptions, to notify parents that they wish to collect information from their children and obtain parental consent prior to collecting, using, and/or disclosing such information;
(3) not to condition a child’s participation in online activities on the provision of more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in the activity;
(4) to allow parents the opportunity to review and/or have their children’s information deleted from the operator’s database and to prohibit further collection from the child; and
(5) to establish procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information they collect from children. As directed by the COPPA, the Rule also provides a safe harbor for operators following Commission-approved self-regulatory guidelines.” https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1999-11-03/pdf/99-27740.pdf
Bottom line, the FTC has made changes to COPPA guidance in the past but is now proposing several potentially big changes to COPPA, including removing parent consent for when a child’s school asks the student to use online apps and platforms (edtech) such as ClassDojo, iReady, Google, YouTube, etc. See here (Section E. Question 23 covers the edtech consent exception) Exceptions to Verifiable Parental Consent:
“Should the Commission consider a specific exception to parental consent for the use of education technology used in the schools? Should this exception have similar requirements to the “school official exception” found in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”)…?”
*Speaking of FERPA, we know that FERPA was also weakened in 2008 and 2011, and
removed parent consent before collecting and sharing student information
with researchers, companies, contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other
parties. Gutting FERPA by removing
parent consent usurped parental rights; we should absolutely not make that same
mistake by removing parent consent in COPPA.
The FTC is accepting public comment on these proposed changes to COPPA; the deadline to comment is Dec 9, 2019. Below is a short, easy to share CALL TO ACTION with links on how to comment and how to contact your Congressperson. Please submit a comment and do SHARE this CALL TO ACTION widely. Thank you.
Click the link below to download the CALL TO ACTION.
The passage of New Hampshire’s SB 267 will threaten your chid’s personal privacy rights.
New Hampshire students have a unique pupil identifier assigned to them to protect their personal indentity. Their UPI is used when they take the State Standardized Assessment. This prevents testing companies from using or sharing their personal information. The protections that have been put in place to protect children are now at risk of being removed for convenience purposes.
New Hampshire students will be taking the State Standardized Assessments this spring. Many parents have refused the standardized tests for their children, but now there may be even a better reason to refuse these tests.
SB 267 would give testing vendors the student’s name, date of birth, student ID, and the ability to “analyze” the data. If that isn’t bad enough, SB 267 gives exemptions for data sharing and, removes the requirement for the testing vendor to destroy data when it’s no longer needed. SB 267 also leaves out parental consent or recourse. Not only does this violate a child’s 4th Amendment rights, but their civil rights of privacy and personal freedom. Nothing in SB 267 includes language protecting the diagnostic portions of assessment and the data thereof.
As of right now, all states, as well as all the laws connected to and including Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), function on the GUTTED version of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act FEPA is also a massive data collection system coming out of the federal level. SB 267 takes NONE of this into consideration from the language, as written.
There has been bi-partisan support in New Hampshire for privacy protections. This was illustrated recently by the decisive passage of the privacy amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution. Even before that constitutional amendment was passed, our state had established such a reputation that the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy ranked New Hampshire as one of the best states in the country in terms of protecting the privacy of students. Unfortunately, SB 267 would take us in the wrong direction.
When Massachusetts administered the MCAS several years ago, all test questions were made public after the assessment was completed. This gave everyone the opportunity to make sure the questions asked were of the quality they expected. Professors at area colleges could look through the questions and make sure they were free from bias and errors. This information is not available to the public using the current standardized assessments in New Hampshire. A lack of transparency on test questions alone should have legislators thinking twice about providing the testing company with our students’ personal information.
11th grade students are required to take the SAT as the standardized assessment. But as you can see from this article from studentprivacymatters.org, they claim that the College Board, “did not deny that they sell students’ personal data – or in their words, “license” the data for a fee to institutions, for-profit corporations and the military.” In addition to selling the data, “….you can see that this script for proctors is written in the most ambiguous way possible, with voluntary questions mixed in with required ones, and no clear indication which is which or that much of this personal data will be shared with third parties for a fee.” That data includes their social security number, which is considered highly sensitive.
They go on to say, “How the College Board gets away with this, year after year, is really a scandal — especially since all the new state laws have been passed banning the selling of student data. Perhaps they are relying on the distinction without a difference of “licensing” the data vs selling it.”
Dr. Peg Luksik has referenced to standardized assessments used in the past, the Educational Quality Assessment (EQA), and how the internal documents said, “we are testing and scoring for the child’s threshold for behavior change without protest.” When past standardized assessments have included questions that do not test academic knowledge, but instead attempt to change the students’ values, attitudes and beliefs, some parents will be concerned about any attempts to provide the testing company with their personal information.
Since these new assessments are adaptive, meaning students will be answering different questions based upon the answers they provide, Dr. Luksik warns about the ability to manipulate the outcome. By allowing testing companies to access our children’s personal information SB267 will cement into law their ability to gain access to their personal information without parental knowledge or consent.
Dr. Luksik explains in this short video why that is dangerous to our children:
There is still time to contact New Hampshire Senators and Representatives and ask them to vote NO on SB267.
Home visits by the government are apparently the new thing across state legislatures in the U.S. See below for a list of bills and why these could pose a risk to your family’s privacy.
Before you put out the welcome mat and assume ‘Home Visits are great; it is helping kids’… Please consider this: What is the trade off? Services for newborns, pregnant mothers and children already exist without Home Visits to tell you about them.
Home visits should not be a required, forced prerequisite to receive services.
If you must hand over your citizenship status, your family’s personal medical and mental health information, marital status, income, race, answer questions about depression, family interactions, tobacco use, infant’s gestation, birth order, developmental delays, immunizations, etc. in order to receive services or information about services, this is coercive.
Information about family, early childhood services is already readily available.
Information about services for families is readily available, often (as in the case of Washington) directly mailed to families, is already posted on websites, in hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics, at food banks, libraries, phone books and schools. Are Home Visits really about informing parents about available services?
Home Visits & leveraging your personal information.
If data collection isn’t the main focus of Home Visit programs, ask WHY, in states like Washington, amendments (below) to protect personal information, make data collection and sharing voluntary and transparent, have been killed. With every state bill posted below, we wonder if bill sponsors would consider adding opt-in CONSENT and transparency before personal information is collected and shared.
Is personal data the price of a home visit?
Wrench in the Gears recently wrote about this, brilliantly documenting how Home Visit legislation sweeping the nation is a well connected, well funded Moneyball scheme based on data collection. (See MEWs prior piece on Moneyball for Kids and see who are the All Star Moneyball for Government Players in your state.) Home Visits are disguised as charity but are actually a profit based invasive data grab, turning people and personal information into human capital and predictive numbers. Wrench in the Gears writes:
Below are a few states with current Home Visit legislation. If you don’t see your state,click this NCSL bill tracker and check back often, to see if your state has already passed Home Visits, Early Childhood Visits, mandated Universal Mental Health Screenings.
Illinois has introduced a bill, HB3560, that says if you want to home school, you will be visited by the Child Protective Services. Yikes.
Iowa has S111, Medicaid Managed Care Newborn Visitation Services. The bills says the department of human services shall contractually require a Medicaid managed care organization to provide at least one evidence-based home visit for every newborn.
Iowa also has a bill, HF 272, that mandates school district board of directors to conduct quarterly home visits to check on the health and safety of private home schooled children. The home visits shall take place in the child’s residence and an interview or observation of the child may be conducted. Apparently, you can’t say no.
“If permission to enter the home to interview or observe the child is refused, the juvenile court or district court upon a showing of probable cause may authorize the person making the home visit to enter the home and interview or observe the child.”
Is it weird that they can come into your home, without your permission? What constitutes probable cause? Simply because you home school? Or maybe if you are Black? White? Muslim? Christian? Immigrant? The 4th Amendment says probable cause means when you have reason to believe that a crime has been committed and that evidence of the crime will be found in the place to be searched. Is home schooling a crime?
Maine has H97 which appropriates funds for home visiting services to provide child development education and skills development for new parents.
Minnesota has S671, the GREAT START FOR ALL MINNESOTA CHILDREN ACT which creates funding and opportunities for children ages prenatal to three; home visiting prenatal to 3,public school/head start birth to 3 education, early childhood education, and child care assistance birth to 3 years for all MN infants and toddlers. This bill details the Great Start Fund in state treasury for birth to 3 education in the schools. Also, various grant programs will target primarily low income, ethnic, and high risk population. Home visit and birth to 3 education is offered to all families.
New Hampshire has NH S 274, Newborn Home Visiting Program which declares that the Newborn Home Visiting Program shall be available to all Medicaid eligible families.
New Mexico has NM S 290 Medicaid Home Visiting Services and Council which requires the secretary of human services to establish Medicaid home visiting services.
Ohio has OH 7 Executive Order, that creates the Governor’s Advisory Council on Home Visitation looking at evidence based home visiting programs.
Oregon has OR S 526 Licensed Health Care Providers Study that directs state Health Authority to study home visiting by licensed health care providers, requires report to interim committee of Legislative Assembly related to health care and declares an emergency.
Washington (the home state of Microsoft) wants to be a leader in Home Visits and data collection; so we will highlight a few interesting points about Washington Home Visit legislation. WA has an “emergency” bill WA H1771 / S5683 called “The Baby Act”, that says if you have a baby, you may be visited by “allied professionals” from the State government. (A note on Emergency Clauses in bills, this basically means citizens have no recourse.)The WA Baby Act creates a universal home visit program for newborns and creates a state run family linkage. Parents and privacy advocates are asking legislators to STOP the WA Baby Act. Will they listen or are they too far down this home visit path?
“The Washington state legislature created the Home Visiting Services Account in 2010 to blend federal, state, and private dollars to efficiently and effectively serve families across the state with high-impact, home visiting services. Home visiting is part of the state’s commitment to early learning. A strong public-private partnership – inclusive of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Department of Early Learning, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services, and Thrive Washington – guides implementation of the state’s Early Learning Plan and Birth to Three Plan.”
Watch February 5, 2019 testimony on this bill, HB1771. Starting at about the 39 minute mark, you will hear a representative from Washington’s Governor Inslee state,
“I am excited to be here today, in support of this bill which is Governor Requested legislation…that will make Washington a national leader for statewide Home Visiting…“–Michelle Davis, Executive Director of WA Board of Health, Representing Governor Inslee [Emphasis added]
At the 44 minute mark, Representative Griffey asks a good question about protecting personal medical information. He states,“I’m a health care provider Emergency Medical Technician have been for thirty three years. I just want to make sure that we have a firm grasp on HIPAA and that medical information that we have is going to stay. I found that many bills that we’ve worked on here we don’t have the same HIPAA once you transfer information to a state agency the health care protect Health Care Information Protection Act doesn’t apply and I want to make sure that we have tight sideboards on this and could you talk to that please?” [Emphasis added]
Ms. Davis responds without answering the question. Instead she refers to prior testimony from Durham, SC Home Visit Family Connects program, that Washington would like to model,
“So as you heard from the folks at Durham they’ve implemented this program across the country and so they do have expertise in help but they are medical professionals who have worked on this so we can provide you with more information about health privacy of the families who are receiving the services.”
If Home Visits are so wonderful, why must they be forced on citizens and why can’t parents consent to how their family’s data are shared?
Why did Washington legislators kill amendments that would protect privacy and would have guaranteed Home Visits as an opt-in program, and would have given parents transparency on how Home Visit data are used?
What if you refuse Home Visits? Will this turn into a big red flag that labels you as a risk?
What if you really can’t say “No”?
What if the WA Baby Act with Home Visits becomes mandatory, gets changed like another “voluntary” WA bill did? (In 2015, WA HB1491, The Early Start Act, was changed in the legislative process. The bill reads voluntary in some areas but also removed the word voluntary in another area. The bill states that if you receive state funding, you must participate in this Early Start program that collects longitudinal data: “EARLY ACHIEVERS, QUALITY RATING, AND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM….The department, in collaboration with tribal governments and community and statewide partners, shall implement a ((voluntary)) quality rating and improvement system, called the early achievers program. Approved early childhood education and assistance program providers receiving state-funded support must participate in the early achievers program by the required deadlines.)
“…our Department of Health administers the child profile health promotion system a program that mails information [about services currently available] to parents of children up to the age of six; those materials include age specific reminders for parents about well child checkups immunizations and other information Adverse Childhood Experiences or Aces. [These] are indicators of severe childhood stressors and family dysfunction experienced before the age of eighteen that can negatively impact a person’s physical and behavioral health Ace’s indicators include child abuse and neglect alcohol or substance abuse in the home mental illness depression or suicidal behaviors in the home incarceration of a family member witnessing intimate partner violence and parent divorce or separation.”
If you aren’t familiar with ACES, and predictive profiling, I again direct you to Wrench in the Gearswho shares that “ACES will be a crucial pubic health concern, my fear is that ACE prevention and mitigation interventions will become vehicles for “innovative” finance and will expand profiling of vulnerable populations.” Read more on ACES here.
Protecting children and preventing child abuse is good but predictive analytics can be wrong.
The data you provide can be shared, re-shared, and analyzed.
With Home Visits, you will be scored. Unless specific opt-in consent and transparency provisions are put in place, and are enforceable, the data Home Visits collect can be analyzed, (profiled?), shared with researchers, businesses, nonprofits or any government agency. You should be aware of a new federal law HR4174mandating “data interoperability”, data sharing across all agencies.
Personal Property, Personal Rights, and Personal Privacy
Your home is your property and should be protected against warrantless search and seizure. Your data should also be YOUR property. Surveys collecting students’ personal beliefs on sensitive topics must have prior informed parent consent under federal law PPRA. Home Visits, mental health screening should be no different.
Don’t be so quick to put out the welcome mat for any Home Visit legislation unless it implicitly guarantees opt-in consent, and is not a condition of receiving services, and allows parents to see and choose how their family’s data is used or shared.
A few references as to why we are so focused on infants, toddlers (zero to three years old) and Early Learning data: ROI and human capital.
This article, released in June 2014, discusses how the most recent ELC grantees (Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont) are targeting infants and toddlers. Additional resources and excerpts from the full article can be found here. The full article explores topics including:
Developing and Integrating Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers
Professional Development of the Infant-Toddler Workforce
If President Donald Trump does not veto The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEPA) (H.R. 4174) (S 2046) by tomorrow, Saturday, January 12, it becomes law.
Jane Robbins in 2017 provided a great description of what this bill will do. FEPA, she wrote, “encourages all federal agencies to share the data they maintain on American citizens and to make that data available for ‘research’ by outside interests. All this would be done according to rules set by each agency and without the knowledge or consent of the citizens whose data would be disclosed and scrutinized.”
“In a free society, the government is subordinate to the citizen. If it wants to use his data for something he didn’t agree to, it should first obtain his consent. FEPA operates according to the contrary principle – that government is entitled to do whatever it wants with a citizen’s data and shouldn’t be hindered by his objection,” Robbins stated.
What data could that be? Robbins said to consider all of the data collected by the U.S. Department of Education on a FAFSA form for instance which you can see below:
1. Student’s Last Name: 2. Student’s First Name: 3. Student’s Middle Initial: 4. Student’s Permanent Mailing Address: 5. Student’s Permanent City: 6. Student’s Permanent State: 7. Student’s Permanent ZIP Code: 8. Student’s Social Security Number: 9. Student’s Date of Birth: 10. Student’s Telephone Number: 11. Student’s Driver’s License Number: 12. Student’s Driver’s License State: 13. Student’s E-mail Address: 14. Student’s Citizenship Status: 15. Student’s Alien Registration Number: 16. Student’s Marital Status: 17. Student’s Marital Status Date: 18. Student’s State of Legal Residence: 19. Was Student a Legal Resident Before January 1, 2012? 20. Student’s Legal Residence Date: 21. Is the Student Male or Female? 22. Register Student With Selective Service System? 23. Drug Conviction Affecting Eligibility? 24. Parent 1 Educational Level: 25. Parent 2 Educational Level: 26. High School or Equivalent Completed? 27a. Student’s High School Name: 27b. Student’s High School City: 27c. Student’s High School State: 28. First Bachelor’s Degree before 2017-2018 School Year? 29. Student’s Grade Level in College in 2017-2018: 30. Type of Degree/Certificate: 31. Interested in Work-study? 32. Student Filed 2015 Income Tax Return? 33. Student’s Type of 2015 Tax Form Used: 34. Student’s 2015 Tax Return Filing Status: 35. Student Eligible to File a 1040A or 1040EZ? 36. Student’s 2015 Adjusted Gross Income: 37. Student’s 2015 U.S. Income Tax Paid: 38. Student’s 2015 Exemptions Claimed: 39. Student’s 2015 Income Earned from Work: 40. Spouse’s 2015 Income Earned from Work: 41. Student’s Total of Cash, Savings, and Checking Accounts: 42. Student’s Net Worth of Current Investments: 43. Student’s Net Worth of Businesses/Investment Farms: 44a. Student’s Education Credits: 44b. Student’s Child Support Paid: 44c. Student’s Taxable Earnings from Need-Based Employment Programs: 44d. Student’s College Grant and Scholarship Aid Reported in AGI: 44e. Student’s Taxable Combat Pay Reported in AGI: 44f. Student’s Cooperative Education Earnings: 45a. Student’s Payments to Tax-Deferred Pensions & Retirement Savings: 45b. Student’s Deductible Payments to IRA/Keogh/Other: 45c. Student’s Child Support Received: 45d. Student’s Tax Exempt Interest Income: 45e. Student’s Untaxed Portions of IRA Distributions: 45f. Student’s Untaxed Portions of Pensions: 45g. Student’s Housing, Food, & Living Allowances: 45h. Student’s Veterans Noneducation Benefits: 45i. Student’s Other Untaxed Income or Benefits: 45j. Money Received or Paid on Student’s Behalf: 46. Student Born Before January 1, 1994? 47. Is Student Married? 48. Working on Master’s or Doctorate in 2017-2018? 49. Is Student on Active Duty in U.S. Armed Forces? 50. Is Student a Veteran? 51. Does Student Have Children He/She Supports? 52. Does Student Have Dependents Other than Children/Spouse? 53. Parents Deceased?/Student Ward of Court?/In Foster Care? 54. Is or Was Student an Emancipated Minor? 55. Is or Was Student in Legal Guardianship? 56. Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by High School/Homeless Liaison? 57. Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by HUD? 58. Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by Director of Homeless Youth Center? 59. Parents’ Marital Status: 60. Parents’ Marital Status Date: 61. Parent 1 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) Social Security Number: 62. Parent 1 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) Last Name: 63. Parent 1 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) First Name Initial: 64. Parent 1 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) Date of Birth: 65. Parent 2 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) Social Security Number: 66. Parent 2 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) Last Name: 67. Parent 2 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) First Name Initial: 68. Parent 2 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) Date of Birth: 69. Parents’ E-mail Address: 70. Parents’ State of Legal Residence: 71. Were Parents Legal Residents Before January 1, 2012? 72. Parents’ Legal Residence Date: 73. Parents’ Number of Family Members in 2017-2018: 74. Parents’ Number in College in 2017-2018 (Parents Excluded): 75. Parents Received Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income? 76. Parents Received SNAP? 77. Parents Received Free/Reduced Price Lunch? 78. Parents Received TANF? 79. Parents Received WIC? 80. Parents Filed 2015 Income Tax Return? 81. Parents’ Type of 2015 Tax Form Used: 82. Parents’ 2015 Tax Return Filing Status: 83. Parents Eligible to File a 1040A or 1040EZ? 84. Is Parent a Dislocated Worker? 85. Parents’ 2015 Adjusted Gross Income: 86. Parents’ 2015 U.S. Income Tax Paid: 87. Parents’ 2015 Exemptions Claimed: 88. Parent 1 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) 2015 Income Earned from Work: 89. Parent 2 (Father’s/Mother’s/Stepparent’s) 2015 Income Earned from Work: 90. Parents’ Total of Cash, Savings, and Checking Accounts: 91. Parents’ Net Worth of Current Investments: 92. Parents’ Net Worth of Businesses/Investment Farms: 93a. Parents’ Education Credits: 93b. Parents’ Child Support Paid: 93c. Parents’ Taxable Earnings from Need-Based Employment Programs: 93d. Parents’ College Grant and Scholarship Aid Reported in AGI: 93e. Parents’ Taxable Combat Pay Reported in AGI: 93f. Parents’ Cooperative Education Earnings: 94a. Parents’ Payments to Tax-Deferred Pensions & Retirement Savings: 94b. Parents’ Deductible Payments to IRA/Keogh/Other: 94c. Parents’ Child Support Received: 94d. Parents’ Tax Exempt Interest Income: 94e. Parents’ Untaxed Portions of IRA Distributions: 94f. Parents’ Untaxed Portions of Pensions: 94g. Parents’ Housing, Food, & Living Allowances: 94h. Parents’ Veterans Noneducation Benefits: 94i. Parents’ Other Untaxed Income or Benefits: 95. Student’s Number of Family Members in 2017-2018: 96. Student’s Number in College in 2017-2018: 97. Student Received Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income? 98. Student Received SNAP? 99. Student Received Free/Reduced Price Lunch? 100. Student Received TANF? 101. Student Received WIC? 102. Is Student or Spouse a Dislocated Worker? 103a. First Federal School Code: 103b. First Housing Plans: 103c. Second Federal School Code: 103d. Second Housing Plans: 103e. Third Federal School Code: 103f. Third Housing Plans: 103g. Fourth Federal School Code: 103h. Fourth Housing Plans: 103i. Fifth Federal School Code: 103j. Fifth Housing Plans: 103k. Sixth Federal School Code: 103l. Sixth Housing Plans: 103m. Seventh Federal School Code: 103n. Seventh Housing Plans: 103o. Eighth Federal School Code: 103p. Eighth Housing Plans: 103q. Ninth Federal School Code: 103r. Ninth Housing Plans: 103s. Tenth Federal School Code: 103t. Tenth Housing Plans: 104. Date Completed: 105. Signed By: 106. Preparer’s Social Security Number: 107. Preparer’s Employer Identification Number (EIN): 108. Preparer’s Signature:
What could possibly go wrong with the federal government sharing that information with various agencies and private entities?
Robbins also recorded this short video for Red Kudzu as a primer in 2018.
Due to the government shutdown, the best way to get President Trump’s attention is to tweet at him – @realDonaldTrump or @POTUS. Use the hashtag #VetoFEPA.
The following video is a great follow-up to the article I wrote on Wednesday. Michelle Malkin appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News on Wednesday night to discuss Silicon Valley’s infiltration into our public schools.
SecurityScorecard, a New York City-based IT security company, said that the education industry is the worst at cybersecurity compared to 17 major industries, EdScoopreports:
In its 2018 Education Cybersecurity Report, the company found that the education industry is not taking many of the necessary steps to protect students from cyber-vulnerabilities. According to the study, the main areas of cybersecurity weaknesses in education are application security, endpoint security, patching cadence, and network security.
Schools collect sensitive information on every one of their students. Digitizing student data makes it easier for educators to view student information, as well as malicious actors. From health data to academic and financial records, a breached student record can provide malicious actors with a stereoscopic view of a student’s life. According to the report, although hackers are becoming more adept at accessing student and school data, the education industry has failed to keep pace with data protection.
Sam Kassoumeh, chief operating officer and co-founder of SecurityScorecard, said university networks are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. “There is a large surface area of exposure at a university. It’s thousands and thousands of devices distributed over a campus,” he said.
Students often use more than one device on campus and in-class — computers, phones, tablets or other “internet of things” devices — that while beneficial, Kassoumeh said, create “a heterogeneous environment, where all of the devices are not secured equally.”
This primarily focuses on higher education, but I doubt that K-12 schools do any better. I suspect they are worse.
This week I sent a public email to New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald urging MacDonald to investigate student data mining occurring in the state of New Hampshire:
Dear Governor Sununu,
I am contacting you on behalf of children in the state of New Hampshire about the data mining and the release of personally identifiable information which includes mental health social, emotional, and behavioral data. Our children are being universally diagnosed for mental health interventions in the classrooms of New Hampshire. These techniques are widespread in our state without giving parents informed written parental consent and any disclosure of harmful effects.
I have included in this letter an attachment with questions to the Commissioner of Education and the Attorney General concerning the legality of psychological and psychiatric assessments and treatment in violation of the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment and SEC. 4001 in ESSA, for Parental Informed Written Consent. Mental health identification and interventions in social, emotional, and behavioral programs are being initiated WITHOUT informed written parental consent. Many marketing propaganda materials are used to “engage” parents to agree to these conditioning concepts without truthfully explaining the appropriate meaning to such techniques and the future impact of their children with mental health coding on their records.
I have attached a list of possible violations that must be investigated to sort out the illegalities of data mining, data sharing and mental health treatment that is being implemented in New Hampshire without the informed written consent of parents.
I am also including information from correspondence between myself, school administrators in New Hampshire and, researchers at Plymouth State University. They will reveal the practice of assessing, diagnosing, treating children and sharing this sensitive data with vendors and researchers.
Teachers in New Hampshire have revealed to me their discomfort with their new role and admit, they are not educated or qualified to treat students. Yet, that’s exactly what they are now required to do in the name of social and emotional learning.
With the recent passage of the amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution that states, “An individual’s right to live free from governmental intrusion in private or personal information is natural, essential and inherent,” this also applies to students attending public schools in New Hampshire.
I am requesting that you intervene immediately. Please request that the Attorney General call a halt to educational data mining activities, and force compliance with all privacy laws for the protection of our children in New Hampshire. Informed written parental consent must be initiated, with penalties for violating our children’s’ privacy through data mining or sharing of personal information.
I will be looking forward to your reply,
Ann Marie Banfield Education Liaison, Cornerstone Action
Violations of Privacy Laws and Data Mining Personal Data on Children
Data Tracking: Collection of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) on babies, children, and teachers identified with a unique national ID, contracted by Institute for Educational Sciences, NCES/IES. Compliance to Obama’s FERPA Executive Order 12866 expanding FERPA to collect and share data.
Data Trafficking: Release Of Personally Identifiable Information, PII, to 3rd Party Contractors: State DOE’s and local schools are able to enter into written agreements with businesses, foundations, higher education, and other Departments, releasing PII because of the loopholes in FERPA, (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) that redefine school officials. PII, Social,Emotional Behavioral Data, and “womb to workforce” data, is freely given to 3rd party contractors through written agreements contracted by each state DOE.
Treatment, Interventions, Psychological Abuse: ESSA mandates PII collected on attitudes, values, beliefs, and dispositions (grit) carried out by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). All students, birth through college-aged students are identified under Title I for social, emotional, and behavioral change, Child Find. Techniques defined in ESSA include mental health interventions: Positive Behavior intervention and Supports, Response To Intervention, Multi-Tiered System Of Supports, Universal Design For Learning which are performed WITHOUT informed written parental consent.
Privacy Violations: Sharing and Re-Disclosure of PII continues, including data collected on attitudes, values, beliefs, and dispositions, without the knowledge or consent of parents. Directory information is cross-referenced with a unique national ID aligned with teacher collected social/emotional behavioral data collected on the local level. No privacy disclosures are used. Children are being used as a commodity.
Violations Under ESSA, Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, PPRA: Violations under Title I school-wide through the use of psychiatric, psychological examination, assessment, evaluation, or testing; Psychiatric or psychological treatment/interventions deceptively used in classrooms without the knowledge, disclosure, or written permission of parents. ESSA forbids mental health screening without consent, yet the abuse continues.
Civil Rights Violations: Interventions, treatment, and re-education of attitudes, values, dispositions, and beliefs of children are profound violations of 1st Amendment protections of our God-given right to “right of conscience” and the 4th Amendment protection of our God-given right “to be secure in their persons.” Public Law 103-33, General Education Provisions Act, Sec 438: Federal Government is supervising and directing curriculum creating a “model national curriculum” and a national test. NCES/IES evaluates and monitors students, teachers, funding, principals, schools, districts, and states for mental health data.
Malpractice and Maltreatment of Children and Babies by Teachers and Preschool Caregivers: Teachers/preschool caregivers, (exceeding their professional certifications), are required to screen, evaluate, perform anecdotal behavioral assessments, conditioning, and implement mental health remediation of the child’s attitudes, values, beliefs, and dispositions called social, emotional learning to comply with global initiatives under ESSA. Standards defined by Department of Labor SCANS Report, create the process of “supply-chain management to humans.” This system sets up schools to begin Medicaid reimbursements. All Illegal.
With the onset of using laptops and computers in the classroom along with students bring smartphones to school kids being distracted is a real problem.
A new start-up, NetRef, provides a solution. Using the school’s network teachers can restrict what a student can access online (this, of course, wouldn’t work with phones that are using a wireless network instead of the school’s wi-fi to go online, but teachers can also restrict whether or not phones can be out).
Robyn Shuls at Forbesinterviewed Joseph Heinzen, the President and Founder of Zoozil, who works closely with NetRef. He said something that jumped out at me.
Shulman: What else does the software do?
Heinzen: The second component to NetRef is providing edtech usage reports. Because we have taken a network-based approach, NetRef works with student-owned as well as school-owned devices. This capability allows schools and districts to see aggregated usage data for edtech software for every student on each device.
Shulman: Where is the data stored?
Heinzen: The data stays on-site in their network and gives administrators a clear picture of what tools have been adopted and are increasing academic achievement.
Heizen states that it provides edtech usage reports, but it goes beyond that. The NetRef features page states that the software, “shows real-time Internet activity by student, classroom and school. Usage reports are accessible to educators based on their access level.”
Also, they state, “NetRef allows teachers to immediately identify which students are connected to the network and adhering to the Acceptable Use Policy.”
That is not just edtech usage. There are some data privacy concerns here. At the bottom of their features page, they cite FERPA, COPPA, CIPA, PPRA, etc. Unfortunately, none of those laws prevent the government, in the form of your local school, of playing Big Brother.
How about offering software that does not track internet usage?
Better yet, let’s limit screen time in the classroom altogether.
Lately, talk about data privacy is taking center stage in Washington. And, recently, technology giant Intel has joined in the public discourse by creating a draft bill for a federal data privacy law.
As a mother that has followed the big tech firms over the past few years and their gold-rush for my children’s education data, I am completely skeptical of this proposed law. And, there is ample evidence that what Intel wants is data interoperability, not data privacy.
Evidence: Intel’s partnership with UNESCO, Microsoft, Cisco and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
In 2011, Intel partnered with the United Nation’s education division UNESCO—along with Microsoft, Cisco and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). These groups have been behind standards for data interoperability since their inception and have worked tirelessly to ensure that neither teachers nor children could escape the long arm of big data. They developed UNESCO’s “ICT Competency Framework for Teachers” which is used to train teachers, worldwide, how to implement technology for teaching and learning.
What’s so bad about using technology for teaching and learning? Well. For me, it’s about who controls what is taught and learned. Interoperable data systems serve two purposes:
to enrich technology companies and their “education” partners
to eliminate local curriculum and assessment control
With the help of these groups and their partners under Race to the Top reforms, most of the major assessment and curriculum companies have adopted common data standards so that systems can interoperate (share) children’s and teacher’s private learning information across platforms. This was made possible through the Every Student Succeeds Act (see here). So, while Intel’s data privacy law may look benevolent, it likely carves out loopholes that it and its “education” partners can benefit from while gutting the privacy rights of children and teachers.
Important facts that unveil the goals of these groups…
UNESCO is one of the largest data overlords in the world, operating the Global Education Monitoring Report to coerce nations and states into adopting UNESCO’s Education 2030 Framework for Action. The Education 2030 Framework uses nations’ and states’ education accountability laws to control what children are taught and tested. US states were coerced into this Framework when they adopted Race to the Top reforms, after which UNESCO’s ICT Competency Framework was embedded in US Education law through the Every Student Succeeds Act. The technology Framework ensures that US states and schools comply with international requirements for “innovative assessments” (computer-adaptive assessments) and that schools hand over children’s private learning data—in real time.
“…it is not enough for teachers to have ICT competencies to be able to teach them to their students. Teachers need to be able to help students become collaborative, problem solving creative learners through using ICT so they will be effective global citizens.”
Microsoft has been a UNESCO partner since 2004 and shares their political goals. What they are telling parents is that a child will not be an “effective global citizen” unless the data shows that they are “competent.” A child will be deemed “competent” when they use technology to advocate for UNESCO’s political goals.
Intel’s Vice President of Government and Education, John Galvin, co-chairs a work group at UNESCO’s Broadband Commission with UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova (*see important note below).
John Galvin wrote the foreword to UNESCO’s Digital Skills Framework (again, this Framework is embedded in the Every Student Succeeds Act). In the foreword, Galvin wrote,
“I am honoured to serve with my fellow Broadband Commissioners on our shared commitment to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. I look forward to increasing our collaboration to enable individuals everywhere to develop the twenty-first century skills required to thrive within our fast-changing broadband society.”
I don’t share in any UNESCO commitments. In fact, I find their education commitments to be an affront to my personal liberty. But, Intel supports UNESCO and its data-for-control Framework, not the privacy rights of teachers, children and their families. And, Intel also supports UNESCO’s definition for “twenty-first century skills.” Of these skills, UNESCO says “The world faces global challenges, which require global solutions. … Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies.”
What UNESCO defines as “global challenges”, I don’t. And I don’t think my children’s educations should be geared to helping UNESCO with their political goals. UNESCO likes to talk about “tolerance” and “inclusion, yet consistently attacks people of religious faith.
*(For parents fighting Comprehensive Sexuality Education, it is important to really think through the fact that Intel’s John Galvin works arm-in-arm with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova to require that teachers use technology for teaching and learning. Bokova is a staunch supporter of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, see here and here. With the help of the International Society for Technology in Education (details below) UNESCO can ensure that Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) will, eventually, be taught in all subjects through online learning. The “ICT Competency Framework for Teachers” sets the stage for CSE to be taught across most academic subjects, see: here.)
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE):
ISTE sets international standards for teaching and learning. ISTE is headed by the Obama administration’s former Director of Education Technology Richard Culatta (more about him below). This is not by coincidence. ISTEcreated international education technology standards for teachers and students. These standards are effectively being used to control what teachers teach and what children learn—aligning teaching and learning to UNESCO’s political goals.
The ISTE standards are taking Common Core standards and making them international. (This explains why US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has joined with the UN and the G20 education agenda). Common Core standards were designed to end local control over teaching and learning.
States typically revise their education standards every 7-8 years. Common Core was adopted in most states in 2010. It’s now 2018. Schools are now being shifted into the ISTE technology standards for teaching and learning without parents even being aware. National education standards really did mark the end of local standards, curriculum and assessment control. This gives new meaning to Secretary DeVos’ claim that “Common Core is dead.”
Of their ISTE Standards for Students (see pages 6-7), ISTE says, “At their core, the ISTE Standards are about pedagogy, not tools.” ISTE quotes UNESCO on global citizenship and then says, “technology provides a forceful means to enable students to connect with others and empower them to collaboratively and individually tackle authentic problems.”
Again, those “authentic” problems are political goals defined by UNESCO.
More about ISTE’s Richard Culatta:
Richard Culatta was a key player—if not, THE key player—behind the data interoperability and computer-adaptive curriculum and assessment reforms enshrined in the Every Student Succeeds Act. He knew that Common Core standards were setting the stage to control what a child learns. In fact, in his 2013 TedX talk, he bragged that personalized learning systems can track 100,000 pieces of personal behavioral information on every child, every day.
Think about this. If your child’s behaviors can be tracked, their political and moral values can easily be reshaped through computer-adaptive curriculum.
Richard Culatta moved from the US Department of Education to head up the technology reforms in Rhode Island (where ESSA’s data-based reforms were spearheaded) and then magically ended up as the CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (Things that make you say, “hmmm?”)
IMS Global is very open about their role in using Race to the Top and Common Core standards to push school districts into digital teaching and learning and data interoperability. Interoperable data systems mark the end of local curriculum and assessment control. See here and here.
Intel’s Lead Data Scientist Kathleen Crowe spoke at IMS Global’s 2016 quarterly meeting about Intel’s role in moving children into computer-adaptive learning. How can Intel’s lead data scientist speak at IMS Global without turning their backs on children and data privacy? They can’t.
Let’s not kid ourselves about Intel’s data “privacy” goals. Intel is all about data interoperability to help UNESCO indoctrinate children.
Years ago, I met a Microsoft engineer that said he was concerned when he realized that his 3rd grade daughter was using computer-adaptive curriculum at school. He said that there was absolutely no role for computer-adaptive curriculum or assessments in K-12 because, by their very nature, they are designed for behavioral assessment, not academic assessment. He was astonished that so many parents and schools have embraced it. And, he remarked that there was an obvious agenda behind it being pushed into schools.
Do you agree? Find out if your child’s teacher sees your child’s online curriculum or assessments, or if the teacher simply uses a data-dashboard to assign curriculum and assessments. That’s how UNESCO and ISTE—and the State Education Technology Directors Association (see here)—are training young teachers. Intel’s proposed federal “privacy” law facilitates UNESCO’s education vision