What the Government Knows and is Sharing About Your Child

By Julie Roys
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If your child attends a public school, his test scores, learning disabilities,  attendance record – even beliefs and values – could become public knowledge!  That’s because the federal government has begun a massive student data mining, storing, and sharing initiative that’s part of the new Common Core Standards.
 The initiative began about four years ago.  That’s when the federal government required states to build massive student databases as a prerequisite for receiving federal stimulus funds.  Then, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a national Common Core database where states could input the student information they’d collected.  And finally, the U.S. Department of Education changed its regulations so schools could release student data to interested third parties without parental consent.
Ostensibly, all this student data mining, storing, and sharing will help companies create educational products and services that will better cater to the needs of students.   And, better products mean better student performance – or at least that’s what proponents of the initiative say. 
But, some U.S. Department of Education documents seem to reveal a more insidious purpose.  Joy Pullman of the Heartland Institute writes that one document recommends that schools catalogue students’ “attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes and intrapersonal resources.”  Even more troubling, the Pioneer Institute reports that the Department of Education actually wants schools to create a comprehensive personal record on each student.   These would include such personal information as health-care history, family voting status, and religious affiliation!    
I’m sure the government has some educational justification for this alarming invasion of privacy.  But, as the recent IRS scandal shows, whatever party is in power can use personal information to target and then persecute those it deems its enemies.  This is why the government should never be allowed to collect and distribute private information of innocent citizens.  And, it’s why parents should vehemently resist this initiative. 


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