For Sale: Student Hopes & Dreams
And where are they hoping this will lead? They want charter schools instead of our suburban schools. We are not "failing", so why would they want this? Because it isn't about the kids... it is about profiting off of our pubic school tax dollars, which is what charter school are all about. Contrary to popular belief, charter schools are not true public schools. They are investor's dreams, called public private partnerships. They are bad for kids, but great for hedge funders.
The truly sad thing is that the Common Core State Standards isn't at all about our kids or their education. It's about the money. The debate I hear in my well-educated community often includes the perspective of people I really like defending the CCSS because, they say, we need standards. Of course we need standards, and we had standards. In fact, our schools have been recognized for their standards for years, and are the magnet that brought many of us to the historic, tree-lined streets where we live.
Pennsylvania teacher and education activist, Peter Greene, is connecting the dots for us. He explains that the Common Core standards are integrally connected to the collection of data. Diane Ravitch comments on Greene's post,"...Their purpose is to tag every student and collect data on their performance. They cannot be decoupled from testing because the testing is the means by which every student is tagged and his/her data are collected for Pearson and the big data storage warehouse monitored by amazon or the U.S. government."
In other news, "Google has admitted that it automatically scans and indexes the email of Apps for Education users even though ads are off by default, in order to provide features such as virus protection, spelling checks, and Gmail's 'priority inbox'." Since a law suit for data-mining student emails, Google states it has stopped this practice. "The suit, which plaintiffs hoped to turn into a class action suit, accuses Google of violating federal and state anti-wiretapping law."
To add to the quandary of our children being "totally data-mined" is the law suit brought against SAT and ACT for selling—you guessed it—student data. "Students assume that their names and scores will be shared with colleges to which they apply, but it turns out that far more is disclosed about students, and it is sold, not just shared." Parents assume that, as well. Politico recently reported, "The recent flurry of interest in updating federal privacy law focuses on preventing children’s personal information from being sold without parental consent. Left unnoticed: The huge and lucrative market of peddling profiles with student consent — even when that consent may not be entirely informed."
It is shocking to read that "[S]tudents taking the SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement exams and other standardized tests are asked to check off a box if they want to receive information from colleges or scholarship organizations. Depending on the exam, at least 65 percent — and as many as 85 percent — of test takers check that box, according to the College Board and ACT. That consent allows the College Board and ACT, both nonprofits, to market students’ personal profiles for 37 cents apiece. Those profiles can include information about the students’ grades and academic coursework — and also religion, ethnicity, citizenship status and expected need for financial aid in college. The ACT also lets customers filter student profiles by family income, parents’ education levels and student disabilities. Because the profile data does not come from students’ official school records, but gleaned from their answers to survey questions attached to the exam, no parental consent is needed. Federal privacy law only requires parental consent for the release of school records or the collection of data from children under 13."
So the question isn't really, do we like the CCSS? The question is, do we want our kids in front of screens, innocently working hard and clicking away, each click being tracked and sold to make millions for corporations who have designed this Orwellian nightmare for each of their own personal agendas? The even bigger question is, do we want our great suburban schools replaced with charter schools with no local school board to oversee our tax dollars and our children's education? I certainly do not.