Student ID
Out with the old. In with the new.

Tonight the Rockwood School Board will consider a proposal by PlascoTrac to issue student ID’s at Eureka High School that would allow the school to track where students are at all times. It is on the agenda with fairly benign language.

Eureka High School student/visitor management/tracking system.  This system will allow students to use their school ID to check in to the library, Academic Labs, and school events.  It will also give the hall monitors or after school supervisors ability to check if student is allowed to be on campus after school, etc.  The system will interface with Infinite Campus.

Assuming this is all it does, it seems like no big deal, right? Take a look at what PlascoTrac says the capabilities are of their system.

School Security officials gain mobility and automation for their daily activities. Using handheld devices security can conduct hall sweeps and perform schedule lookups so they understand where students are supposed to be at that time. We also give security the ability to print passes or reward slips on the spot. All data captured by security around campus is shared with student records in real time.

With the new ID’s in place, the school can conduct real time sweeps to see where every student is and that data is sent directly to their student record in Infinite Campus.  You may recall a similar system was implemented in Texas and met with tremendous public resistance. Problems arose when there was not 100% compliance  by the student population with being scanned . Texas School District Reportedly Threatening Students Who Refuse Tracking ID, Can’t Vote For Homecoming  See its not just a convenience for the administration, it is mandatory tracking of all students. The post script to that story is that North Side School district voted to discontinue the program a year later because it did not produce its intended effect there, i.e. increase attendance.

The PlascoTrac system is so much more than just student geolocation. The full program allows attendance and behavioral tracking as well.  They use such comforting sales pitches as, “Using behavior data to uncover change in children’s home life. Using behavior data to intervene at opportune times.” But first the company needs a foot in the door.  That’s all they are looking for tonight.

Parents who have children at Eureka High School or in the Rockwood District (since Eureka may only be the pilot for an expanded use in the district) may want to read more about broader civil rights concerns associated with RFID chips being used in schools before attending tonight’s meeting by going to ChipFreeSchools.com The public should ask,

  • What previously unmet need are you trying to address?
  • What is the intended goal of this system? What are you trying to accomplish and how will you know if you have reached that target?
  • Will you offer non chipped ID’s?
  • What penalties are you considering for students who don’t want to use the ID’s or who forget them at home?
  • What will it cost to maintain this program?
Board of Education Meeting
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Crestview Middle School
16025 Clayton Road
Ellisville, MO 63011-2162

Read more at http://www.plascotrac.com/how-it-works/how-it-works.html

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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