Common Core: P-20 SLDS
Federal Government Tracking System
(For Your Child)
Has Anyone at Your School Mentioned Implementation of “Data Collection”?
SLDS :: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems
Common Core-P20 SLDS, a tracking system for your child
SLDS is a citizen tracking grant program, rewarding states financially for participating. Otherwise known as P-20. The term P-20 = Preschool through age 20 (workforce) tracking, an egregious privacy violation of children and parents being implemented NOW in conjunction with Common Core. (In CA it’s called CALPADS)
Schools, teachers, administrators and State Office of Education workers are dutifully collecting data both academic and nonacademic, about children and their families in compliance with U.S. Dept. of Education directives for them to do so. The Dept. of Education is 100% on board with the Common Core SLDS P-20 “Open Data” (Read: Data Mining of Children) implementation. Although “data collection” may appear innocuous on the surface, it is clearly an assault on privacy with alarming potential for intrusive and detrimental electronic privacy exploitation of parents and students. The privacy rights provided by law are often not provided in practice and may be further eroded by changes. A push for changes in the established privacy rights is being made to facilitate greater collection and sharing of data by connecting state longitudinal data systems (SLDS). The federal government has promoted and provided funding for the development of these longitudinal data systems.
Unknown to most parents, children’s, (and their family’s,) data (including “biometric data,”) is being shared beyond the school district with myriad federal agencies. Student data is further being “mashed” with federal databases, according to Federal Education Dept. Chief and Staff Joanne Weiss. (http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/07/ed_urges_states_to_make_data_s.html ) Children are being tracked, data mined and biometricly catalogued by the Dept. of Education as if they are prison inmates or cattle on a feed lot. Is this something parents would consent to if disclosed in full? Not likely.
BIOMETRIC DATA as defined by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Regulations: “Biometric record,” as used in definition of “personally identifiable information,” (PII) means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting
Recent alterations in federal FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations which were made by the U.S. Dept. of Education, have radically redefined terms and widened the window of groups who can access private data WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT. For more information on that, see the lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center against the U.S. Dept. of Education: http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/default.html
Changes Proposed for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Department of Education (DOE) has proposed changes to the regulations issued under the primary federal student-privacy statute, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The stated purpose of the proposed changes is “to protect the privacy of education records, as intended by Congress, while allowing for the effective use of data in statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS) . . . .” In reality, DOE’s desire to stimulate the “robust use of data” to evaluate federally funded education programs seems to outweigh the congressional mandate to protect student privacy – and the proposed changes to the FERPA regulations are a blatant attempt to bypass Congress by weakening the privacy law through radical regulation. Listed below are objections to the proposed changes.
There are two key points to be made regarding these proposed changes:
1) DOE is weakening longstanding student privacy protections by greatly expanding the universe of individuals and entities who have access to PII and by broadening the programs whose data might be subject to this access; and
2) DOE is attempting to evade Congress by pushing through radical policy changes through regulation rather than legislation.
Data Stewardship: Managing Personally Identifiable Information in Student Education Records. (2010, Nov.). IES National Center for Education Statistics. SLDS Technical Brief.
Seattle Example: A number of Seattle Public Schools parents and teachers were recently shocked to read that the private contact information of 10,700 SPS children and 1,400 teachers had been given to a political marketing and polling firm by the school district.
In March, Seattle-based Strategies 360/DMA Marketing used the information to conduct a telephone poll for the Our Schools Coalition, a new organization created by the Alliance for Education. Out of this poll came an online petition. In its “Methodology,” 360/DMA explained that it had surveyed three groups — teachers, parents and voters — and that respondents from the first two groups “were randomly selected from lists for each segment provided by Seattle Public Schools.” (This sentence has since disappeared from the petition site.)
Who gave the [Seattle] district permission to share children’s private information with a marketing firm? The SCHOOL, perhaps, the State, the District, to obtain federal grant dollars? Are school fundraisers that desperate and greedy for money as to justify selling out their own kids?
Parents are unaware their children’s information is being shared without parental permission, beyond the school, beyond the district, and even beyond the state. This “data” includes far more than grades and test scores. Don’t believe it? Do a little research. It is all right out in the open for anyone who can read. How would the parents at your child’s school react if they knew their private information such as their child’s courses taken including remedial courses, grades earned, all demographic items of information such as race, religion, sexual orientation, IQ, parent income and profession, changes in sexual designation of child and/or parent(s), family names and income, adoptions, divorces, bankruptcies, political leanings, religious beliefs, investments, donations, home property value and equity, family net worth, parents’ affiliations, parent and child medical conditions and medications are all being watched by the U.S. Government via the school and that the school is facilitating it? Further, how would parents feel knowing in addition to data, collection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as blood samples, DNA, fingerprints, handwriting samples and iris scans are the number one program requirement of Common Core P-20 Data Mining grant eligibility and that their child’s school is on board with a program that even suggests such a thing?
Courses taken, grades earned, every demographic piece of information, including family names and income, are being watched by the U.S. government via schools. Go to ED.gov and search SLDS Fact Sheet.
SLDS :: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Fact Sheet from Ed.gov
The program provides grants to states to design, develop, and implement statewide P-20 longitudinal data systems to capture, analyze, and use student data from preschool to high school, college, and the workforce.
Since it started in fiscal year 2005, the program has awarded grants worth $265 million to 41 states and the District of Columbia. The Recovery Act competition requires that the data systems have the capacity to link preschool, K-12, and postsecondary education as well as workforce data. To receive State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, a state must provide an assurance that it will establish a longitudinal data system that includes the 12 elements described in the America COMPETES Act, and any data system developed with Statewide longitudinal data system funds must include at least these 12 elements. The elements are:
With such comprehensive data systems, states will be able to monitor their reforms and make specific changes to advance them. These data systems will capture data on students from one grade to the next, measuring whether they are on track to graduate and telling K-12 schools whether they are preparing their students to succeed in college and the workforce. The data systems also can help identify teachers who are succeeding so states can reward them, and find teachers who are struggling and help them improve.
While all this “DATA GATHERING” (i.e. Data Mining) could theoretically, somehow, benefit a child, or community, it can definitely hurt a child and irreversibly damage their life going into adulthood. Denial of future opportunities, based on ancient academic or behavioral history is a very real possibility. Common Core P-20 MEANS Pre-K to Age 20 data collection.
These databases (State Longitudinal Database Systems, SLDS; also, P-20 :: Common Core) are to share data with anybody they define as “authorized,” according to alterations made to FERPA (Family Education Privacy Act) regulations by the Dept. of Education.
The now-authorized groups who will access student data will include the A-list “philanthropists” like Bill Gates, as well as corporate snoops (Microsoft, Pearson, Wireless Generation, and K-12 Inc., Achieve, Inc., SBAC, PARCC, NGA, CCSSO, for example) as well as federal departments that are far outside of education, such as military, law enforcement, NSA, IRS, CPS and workforce agencies, etc.)
Furthermore, psychometric and biometric data (Behavioral Qualities, DNA, Iris and Fingerprints) are considered “acceptable” data collection points, to the Dept. of Education (verify: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ferparegs.pdf ). Your kid acts out a few times for whatever reason and he/she is branded for life in his/her P-20 data file which can be altered only if parents are granted a hearing. If revisions are denied, the file will follow the student to his or her grave.
Verify it yourself on Government’s own public sites:
STATES DO NOT GET STIMULUS MONEY IF THEY DO NOT AGREE TO BUILD THE SLDS SYSTEM!
SLDS was presented as a financial prize to states, a grant, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It sounded good, but in reality, its purpose, besides the uneven redistribution of taxpayers’ money, is to track citizens (children, students, kids and their families) via the Dept. of Education.
The federal government’s assumption is that everyone everywhere will approve of student tracking and want their children to be tracked and that parents are gullible, and blindly compliant, enough to buy into child data mining as nothing more than a modern “tool” to improve their child’s education. A secondary assumption the Dept. of Education has to convince parents of is that government holding detailed, intimate information about students will never be wrongly used against them and, of course, has nothing to do with constitutional rights to privacy. (For more on that, go to: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/rightofprivacy.html )
#1 in SLDS P-20 “Program Requirements” [1. A unique identifier for every student that does not permit a student to be individually identified (except as permitted by federal and state law)] should be noted because it is the first element of data to be collected because it speaks about PII, (Personally Identifiable Information.) PII can be a name, a social security number, a blood sample, handwriting sample, a fingerprint, an iris scan or almost anything else. The fact that the government included except “as permitted by federal/state law” is VERY significant because the Federal Department of Education CHANGED federal privacy law, known previously as the protective, family-empowering, FERPA law. It permits “biometric data” collection. The Department of Education did this without Congressional approval and are now being sued by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) for doing it. Currently, as it stands FERPA has been altered and will not be restored to its formerly protective state. Consequently, parental rights over children’s data, and parental consent rules, have been cast aside in the name of collecting intrusive and dehumanizing stazi-like quantities of data, whether with malignant or benign intent, for federal use.
The SLDS P-20 program provides grants to states to design, develop, and implement statewide P20 longitudinal data systems to capture, analyze, and use student data from preschool to high school, college, and the workforce.
The P-20 program purports to “help reduce achievement gaps in the near- and long-term.” Really? At what cost?
This is a compilation of sensitive information, from different federal agencies, being placed in your child’s P-20 database, to follow him or her into adulthood, possibly contributing to an influence on their job hunt with eventual prospective employers. It used to be water under the bridge if a child had a personal problem, some childhood behavioral, physical or health problem. It used to be hopeful that enough time would elapse between the event and adulthood and the issue would be long dealt with and overcome. With the assistance of the P-20 database, this information will follow your child well into adulthood and be in full display for every teacher, school agency, government agency – state and federal, employer, prospective employer, client, creditor, lender etc., to view and make decisions based on this data.
In attempts to misrepresent the true aim, pro child data-mining (or you may have heard it called: DATA COLLECTION) sales pitches generally state something along the lines of how collection and utilization of P-20 data promotes “improvements” in program administration and educational outcomes. It claims the P-20 initiative will “significantly increase teacher, school, and district-level use of near-real-time student data by employing sophisticated, as yet underutilized longitudinal data for predictive and retrospective identification of student achievement growth and academic risk factors.” Do you want apathetic government workers (you know like the kindly geniuses who work at the DMV) at LAUSD, or worse, federal agencies, determining the “academic risk factors” for your child? …and indelibly electronically branding them for life in a practically irreversible federal government database?…with no recourse, consultation or even disclosure to parents?
Common Core P-20 data mining’s “as yet underutilized longitudinal data” includes “using cameras to judge children’s facial expressions, electronic classroom seats that judge posture and determine if a child is “depressed” or “ADHD”, pressure-sensitive computer input devices to judge a child’s emotional state, RFID tracking devices in school ID cards or other items a child carries with them and biometric tracking wrist wraps to judge a child’s physical and mental state at any given moment.” This is from the Department of Education’s and Federal Government Agencies’ own reports.
Administrative and unlawful changes to FERPA are what makes SLDS P-20 data mining of students possible:
ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER Lawsuit Against DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION for Alterations to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
In April 2011, the U.S. Department of Education(ED) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), inviting public comments on its proposed regulations amending the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The proposed regulations removed limitations prohibiting educational institutions and agencies from disclosing student personally identifiable information, without first obtaining student or parental consent. For example, the proposed FERPA regulations reinterpreted FERPA statutory terms “authorized representative,” “education program,” and “directory information.” This reinterpretation gives non-governmental actors increased access to student personal data.
On May 23, 2011, EPIC filed comments with the ED, noting the illegality of the agency’s amendments, including the illegality of the agency’s reinterpretation of the statutory terms “authorized representative,” “education program,” and “directory information.” EPIC’s comments stated that “the ED’s proposals expand a number of FERPA’s exemptions, reinterpreting the statutory terms ‘authorized representative,’ ‘education program,’ and ‘directory information.’ These proposals remove affirmative legal duties for state and local educational facilities to protect private student data.” EPIC also noted that the proposed regulations ignored the FERPA’s purpose and relied on a “fundamental misreading of appropriations legislation.” EPIC’s comments stated that by designating non-governmental actors as “authorized representatives” of state educational institutions, the ED would perform an “unauthorized, unlawful sub-delegation of its own authority.” EPIC’s comments further stated that by expanding the definition of “educational programs,” the ED would expose “troves of sensitive, non-academic data.” EPIC’s comments stated that the proposed regulations permitting schools to “disclose publicly student ID numbers that are displayed on individuals cards or badges . . . insufficiently safeguard students from the risks of re-identification.” EPIC recommended to the ED that the proposed regulations should be withdrawn because they were contrary to law and exceeded the scope of the agency’s rulemaking authority.
On December 2, 2011, the ED issued final regulations implementing its proposed amendments, despite the agency’s admission that “numerous commenters . . . stated that they believe the Department lacks the statutory authority to promulgate the proposed regulations contained in the NPRM.” The final regulations’ definitions for statutory terms “authorized representative,” “education program,” and “directory information” did not differ from the proposed regulations.
On February 29, 2012, EPIC filed a lawsuit under the Administrative Procedure Act against the ED. EPIC’s lawsuit argues that the agency’s December 2011 regulations amending the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act exceed the agency’s statutory authority, and are contrary to law. EPIC is joined in the lawsuit by co-plaintiffs Grayson Barber, Pablo Garcia Molina, Peter G. Neumann, and Dr. Deborah Peel. The Education Department filed its answer to EPIC’s complaint on May 4, 2012, requesting that the Court dismiss EPIC’s complaint.
On July 23, 2012, EPIC filed a Motion to Supplement the Administrative Record and Consider Extra-record evidence with the Court. In its motion, EPIC requested the Court to order the Education Department to supplement the administrative record to include four document sets that were before the Education Department at the time of its decision, and were considered by the agency when it issued its NPRM and subsequent final regulations. Additionally, EPIC requested that the Court consider extra-record evidence that is highly relevant to the final regulations and necessary for effective judicial review. For example, at the time that the agency issued the final regulations, it had not offered guidelines on student data and cloud computing. After the Education Department issued its regulations, the agency created a document which provided cloud computing guidance. Importantly, this document explains that even though “outsourcing information technology (IT) functions” would not “traditionally be considered and audit or evaluation,” the Education Department will consider outsourcing IT functions as “auditing” or “evaluating” under FERPA regulations. FERPA permits nonconsensual disclosure of education records to “authorized representatives” for audits and evaluation of federal and state education programs.
In response to EPIC’s motion, the Education Department filed a Consent Motion for Extension of Time Regarding the Dispositive Motion Briefing Schedule that was previously issued by the Court. On July 24, 2012, the Court vacated the briefing schedule and announced that a new briefing schedule would be re-established upon the Court’s resolution of EPIC’s motion.
On October 26, 2012, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part EPIC’s Motion to Supplement the Administrative Record and Consider Extra-record evidence. The Court granted EPIC’s motion to supplement the record with two documents concerning “directory information” that were before the agency at the time of the final regulations. The Court denied EPIC’s motion to supplement the record with documents that support the agency’s definition of “education program,” because the agency admitted that it did not rely on concrete, factual knowledge to support the new definition, and therefore the requested documents do not exist. Finally, the Court denied EPIC’s motion requesting that the Court consider extra-record evidence.
Following the resolution of EPIC’s Motion to Supplement the Administrative Record and Consider Extra-record evidence, the Court established the following briefing schedule: the Education Department’s Dispositive Motion is due by November 30, 2012; EPIC’s Opposition and Cross Motion is due by January 18, 2013; the Education Department’s Reply and Cross Opposition is due by February 1, 2013; and EPIC’s Reply to the Cross Motion is due by February 15, 2013.
On November 30, 2012, the Education Department filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, a Motion for Summary Judgment, arguing that: (1) EPIC and its individual co-plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the final regulations; (2) the final rule is entitled to Chevron Deference; (3) none of the challenged definitions (“directory information”, “authorized representatives”, and “education programs”) exceed statutory authority; and (4) the challenged definitions are in accordance with law because they are the product of reasoned decision-making.
On December 19, 2012, EPIC filed a consent motion seeking additional time to coordinate each plaintiff’s declaration to support standing.
On January 18, 2013, EPIC filed its Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum Opposing Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment. EPIC’s motion argued that the individual plaintiffs have standing because there is an imminent risk that their private education records will be disclosed. EPIC also argued that EPIC has standing on its own because EPIC has suffered a concrete and demonstrable injury to its activities, and that EPIC has standing to bring suit on behalf of the members of the Advisory Board and Board of Directors. Concerning the merits, EPIC argued that that: (1) each of the challenged definitions exceeds statutory authority and is therefore not entitled to Chevron deference; and (2) the disputed definitions are not in accordance with law because they are contrary to the FERPA’s plain meaning and are not a permissible construction of the statute. EPIC also argued that the definitions are arbitrary and capricious because they are not the product of reasoned decisionmaking. Finally, EPIC requested that the Court hear oral argument on the motion.
On February 1, 2013, the Education Department filed its Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Reply in Support of its Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment, reiterating its initial arguments and responding to EPIC’s Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.
The Court held oral arguments on July 24, 2013.
On September 26, 2013, the Court dismissed EPIC’s lawsuit, holding that neither EPIC nor any of its Board of Director co-plaintiffs “have standing to bring the claims asserted in the complaint.” The Court did not reach EPIC’s substantive claims asserted in the complaint. The Court further held that its order was a “final appealable order.”
“California is in the process of rolling out a new data system that will warehouse data about each individual student over time. This student data system–known as CALPADS, the California Longitudinal Pupil Data System–has already been collecting data for several years, but there is still work to be done: more data indicators are being added, reports are being developed, and refinements are being made. Once CALPADS (California’s P20) is fully up and running, the state will be better able to answer questions about how students are performing academically, understand what school-based factors affect achievement, and begin to align policies and practices with what the data show to be effective strategies.”
Translation: Data Mining Children and Dissemination of Said Data Under the Auspices of Improving Education, w/o Parental Consent.
Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program OPT OUT: California Education Code Section 60615: “Notwithstanding any provision of law, a parent’s or guardian’s written request to school officials to excuse his or her child from any or all parts of the assessments administered pursuant to this chapter shall be granted.”
For more information search: SLDS P20, Data Mining of Children, Statewide Longitudinal Data System and Common Core Data Collection. In CA it is called CALPADS