By: Nancy Smith | Posted: November 19, 2013 3:55 AM
More image problems for Common Core State Standards.
On Long Island earlier this month a hacker apparently was able to access records kept at the Sachem School District offices and leak personal student data to a web forum. The records included medical and disciplinary reports.
Police are investigating, Long Island Newsday reports.
Problem is, the student database is linked both to Common Core and to President Obamas Race to the Top initiative. Those programs together offered school districts $4 billion in grants if they chose to participate.
According to The Journal News, in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam counties, N.Y., the database uploads to Web Cloud run by inBloom, a nonprofit group funded by the Gates Foundation and supported by Amazon.
Surprisingly, the breach didn't come as a great shock to the community. Even before it transpired, parents and teachers were concerned about data collection and the potential of sharing it or stealing it.
Reported The Journal News, "More than 20 districts in the Lower Hudson Valley have pulled out of New Yorks participation in the federal Race to the Top initiative, hoping that doing so will allow them to withhold certain data. Since the state has said that this strategy will not work, districts are now writing to inBloom directly and requesting that their student records be deleted."
The story claims a dozen parents in New York City even went so far as seeking a restraining order to protect their childrens data.
Karen Effrem, M.D., president of Education Liberty Watch and co-founder of Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, called the Long Island incident "more evidence that the student database is not secure."
What's more, these concerns arent limited to school districts in New York. According to The New American, schools in Delaware, Colorado, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Georgia and North Carolina have committed to pilot testing and information dissemination by sending students personal information to the inBloom database.
Effrem told Sunshine State News, "A number of standards will be used for the psychological training of children starting at a young age ... One of the main goals for uniform national assessments is for the federal government to have access to highly personal individual student data.
"It isn't just teachers and school officials who can request and get students' records," Effrem said. "It's also 'a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom an agency or institution has outsourced institutional services or functions ...'
"Common Core completely strips the child of privacy, she said.
Effrem has outlined the Common Core process of data collection on the Stop Common Core Coalition website.
The New American echoes Effrem: The fact that Common Core standards requires childrens personal information to be provided to a database that can be expected to sell or share the data to unspecified companies is worrisome to many parents and educators."