Common Core remains under protest in Colorado. Moms (and a few dads) from across the state converged upon Capitol ground to protest state standardized tests based upon the controversial education initiative. Common Core is a public education initiative which has led many to fear that national data on students and families will be collected by the federal government – a charge that the nation’s leading home school legal organization now is echoing.
Republican Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble was inside the Capitol building touting her “Colorado Moms’ Bill” or Senate Bill 136. The legislation would delay new statewide standardized tests for a pending a more in-depth review of the proposal.
Senator Marble had this to say about Common Core testing:
“Common Core was developed using a top-down approach. It was pushed onto Colorado with too little debate and no parental input. We want to keep our education decisions local.”
As education expert Yong Zhao wrote in The Washington Post, the standard will introduce “a new world of education where all American children are exposed to the same content, delivered by highly standardized teachers, watched over by their equally standardized principals, and monitored by governments armed with sophisticated data tools.” Zhao is residential chair and associate dean for global education at the University of Oregon’s College of Education.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) says Common Core is “laying the foundation for a national database filled with personal student data.” “Home School Legal Defense Association has long opposed the creation of such a database,” HSLDA authors Will Estrada and Katie Tipton wrote. “We believe that it would threaten the privacy of students, be susceptible to abuse by government officials or business interests, and jeopardize student safety. We believe that detailed data systems are not necessary to educate young people. Education should not be an Orwellian attempt to track students from preschool through assimilation into the workforce.”
Although the United States Department of Education would be breaking the law if a national database was created, such a database seems inevitable now, HSLDA says.
“Over the past decade, a slew of new federal incentives and federally funded data models have spurred states to monitor students’ early years, performance in college, and success in the workforce by following individuals systematically and efficiently across state lines. We believe that this expansion of state databases is laying the foundation for a national database filled with personal student data.”
he “reshaping” of FERPA regulations now reportedly allows access to the personal information by any business or group which the US Department of Education says needs to evaluate an education program, HSLDA says. Both workforce and postsecondary learning institutions now can access the information. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was altered without approval by Congress, prompting at least one lawsuit against the US Department of Education. Collecting data across state lines inevitably will lead to a national database, HSLDA says.
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