linked student data
Student data shared in Colorado longitudinal data system.

Busted.

States have built longitudinal data systems for sharing personally identifiable student (and teacher) information with various state agencies in a P20 (Preschool through age 20) system for tracking.  All states received federal funding for these longitudinal data systems and yet educational spokespersons in states still insist they don’t share and/or allow access to student data.

Here is a story (with video) from Colorado showing the state education agency shared personally identifiable student information with various agencies.  From CO: Video Sparks Concern Over Data Harvesting:

CDE (Colorado Department of Education) Chief Information Officer Dan Domagala was recorded on video presenting the “golden record” of each child’s data. In his presentation, at minute 9:40, he points to a slide showing CDE “connecting  information in a longitudinal format” with other state agencies, including Human Services and Corrections.  It is documented that CDE shares student data with Colorado’s Department of Human Services, Department of Corrections, and Higher Education entities.  Sources say that other videos with this presentation have been scrubbed of Domagala disclosing that student information will be shared with other state agencies.

Even with this video evidence Domagala denied the sharing of information:

Domagala testified last week before the Colorado House Education Committee on the Student Data Privacy Act (HB14-1294). He claimed CDE does NOT collect student identifiable data. Members of the House Education Committee questioned him and reminded him that they were just handed an eight-page printout from CDE’s website by a Colorado mom that outlined CDE’s own policy on sharing personally identifiable information. Why would CDE have a policy on sharing identifiable data if they did not have such data?

The CDE policy document is now just over six pages and appears to have since been altered, but still contains policy verbiage on identifiable student data; another version is available on Core Concerns website.

In a 2013 article in edtechmagazine.com, Domagala was interviewed:

While schools are right to be cautious about diving into Big Data without safeguards, it hasn’t slowed the Colorado Department of Education’s innovative Big Data program, the Relevant Information to Strengthen Education (RISE) initiative. It’s a massive undertaking that spans the state’s 860,000 students, 2,000 schools and 178 districts, according to InformationWeek.

Daniel Domagala, the Colorado Department of Education’s CIO, recently spoke with InformationWeek about some of the reasoning behind the state’s analytics-based approach to education, which should shed light on how Big Data can play nicely in K–12.

Its data analysis has also helped reframe how Colorado looks at overall school performance. Instead of just being measured on absolute performance, schools now are also measured by performance growth rates. “That’s changed the conversation, leveled the playing field a little bit for schools and districts that have struggled,” said Domagala.

Colorado has expand[ed] data gathering to include pre-kindergarten and post-secondary students. The “PK-20” program is part of a longitudinal database that will include data from five agencies, among them including human services, labor and corrections. Ultimately, Colorado hopes to understand how specific education initiatives contribute to life success.

That’s going to take time, Domagala said. “There’s so much we’d like to do, but within a government environment it’s incredibly hard to find the talent we need to make the quantum leaps in information.”

Certainly the intent was there in August 2013 when Domagala talked to Information Week.  Apparently the intent was acted upon and individual student data was shared with other agencies.  He says it and shows it in the video.  So why is he denying it?

Read more here.

This is going to happen in Missouri (and probably your state) if it hasn’t already.  The plans exist to track and store individual student data.  The plans have been in the works for a long time.  From ESP Solutions Group:

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Commissioner Chris Nicastro has repeatedly stated it is not DESE’s “intent” to share personally identifiable student information.  Whether she is parsing words and means that DESE will allow access and not “share”, it is clear there is a move to supply student identifiable information to comply with regulations.  We don’t have a video but we sure do have a blueprint of what’s in the future for Missouri students unless the legislators institute a data bill protecting personal data of students and families.  The “golden record” of student data is coming to Missouri…if it isn’t here already.

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