Parents believe what they see on TV.”  This is exactly what a state school board member said. Another board member implied that parents are misguided because, “Parents fear technology.”  You can listen to the audio clips below.  Unfortunately this type of rhetoric is common across all states.  Often, elected officials are condescending, implying parents are misinformed and fearful.  When will parents say enough?  What if these board members were grading you?


Plans are already being put in place to grade parents.


Parents will be graded on their school and community  “engagement” in some states. Before you start thinking about what grade you would get,  ask yourself if grading parents on school engagement is even a good or ethical idea.  Consider who is doing the grading? How? Why? What happens to those kids whose parents work too many jobs to be the homeroom mom, or can’t make it to their child’s school performance, even though they would give their eye-teeth to be there? And what about the kid who doesn’t have parents to look out for him? What happens to the kid whose parents receive a bad grade?  Do we really want the government collecting data about parents and grading families? (Measuring engagement is mentioned 80 times in this new federal law.)

Parents, are you really aware of what’s going on at your child’s school?

You check the backpack for notes, you do the laundry, make the lunch, check the homework, sign permission slips, complete the reading logs and even send in treats for parties, or donate money for whatever sell-a-thon fundraiser they happen to be doing.  Isn’t that enough?  NO.

Wake up call.  ALL Parents need to be asking these questions NOW.

why are parents opt data

For your child’s sake, take the time to step out of your comfort zone. Forget about popularity, or what’s easy. Take the time, ask the questions. Protect children.

Schools are being transformed into digital badging and talent pipelines, workforce suppliers, (starting in kindergarten or preschool) where businesses will dictate curriculum and online programs and algorithms will collect massive amounts of data.  Your child’s personal information will be shared widely; this data will determine his or her future.  This is why parents are concerned about data collection.


This is why parents want privacy laws. Schools are changing rapidly and you need to get involved. Opting out of testing, opting out of data slows the progression and keeps your child’s personal information from being shared.

Please remember,  it’s not the teacher’s fault. Many teachers are standing up and speaking out, at risk of losing their jobs. We appreciate teachers, board members, legislators who see injustice to children and are not willing to simply stand idly by. Thank them. Don’t let them stand alone.


angelika fear technology


As for the school board member who said parents fear technology, she said this while strongly advocating that personal information about kindergartners be shared outside of school. The state board of education was voting on March 9, 2016, whether to share a child’s social emotional skills,  their developmental abilities, everything about that child,  with the state database, as personally identifiable information (along with their name, age, address, disability status, income etc.)  She was the only member who voted YES to sharing this data.  She said parents who opposed it, parents concerned about sharing their child’s information, were misinformed because they only believe what they see on TV.   We highly recommend you listen to a short audio clip here, whole conversation here, or clips of previous board meeting on February 10, 2016  (Colorado Commissioner Rich Crandall speaking) here and board members speaking here.


Speaking of TV, there is another Congressional Subcommittee Hearing on Education Workforce Protections and the use of data scheduled for Tuesday, March 22nd at 10am EST.  You can watch a live stream of the hearing here.


If you missed previous Congressional Hearings regarding student data privacy protections, you can watch a few of them here and here or see brief overview here and here.

video student cloud

Maybe parents do believe what they see on TV sometimes. 

Maybe some elected officials need to change their program.


Resources other than TV:

Data as the new currency

What data is collected on children? Marketplace does a good job of explaining data collection at their site: A day in the life of a data mined kid.

What should you ask your school?

Knewton, an online classroom application, video of presentation at the White House Datapalooza. Knewton collects 5-10 million data per day per child.
The astonishing amount of data being collected about your children
Student data collection is out of control
Hidden computer algorithms in schools
Grooming Students for a Lifetime of Surveillance
The business of school data badging and predicting children’s futures
Privacy pitfalls as education apps spread haphazardly. Before you download that app.

Spying on Students and the suit filed against Google

ACLU, Take Control of Student Privacy

How can data be used against you? 

A roadmap to the future of education (click to enlarge the poster)
Federal Data Dictionary
Colorado Data Dictionary
Data Elements Collected in Data Collection System
Colorado Dept. of Education Contracts that share children’s personally identifiable information
Colorado Dept of Education GOLDEN RECORD OF DATA

The Colorado Department of Education creates a “single golden record” of personally identifiable data on every student in Colorado. This video explains how the student’s personal information is shared with Dept. of Corrections, Dept. of Health and Human Services, Social Services, and Higher Education (Colleges).
Privacy and Cloud Computing in Public Schools, Joel Reidenberg, Center for Law and Information Policy

School districts are increasingly turning to rapidly evolving technologies and cloud computing to satisfy their educational objectives and take advantage of new opportunities for cost savings, flexibility, and always-available service among others.  These cloud services are provided by third-parties and enable districts to process their children’s data or perform tasks online.  Like in the business community, private vendors are developing new services for the education sector.  Many of these cloud services are specifically geared toward K-12 schools.  The transition to cloud services by school districts raises concerns for the privacy of the school children’s data because data will no longer be maintained by the school districts themselves, but rather will be sourced in data centers operated by third-parties.  Districts, as stewards of children’s information, must properly document all cloud service agreements including maintaining fully executed contracts complete with all appendices and incorporated documents. Districts are often passive parties to cloud service contracts that are drafted by vendors and not subject to any negotiations.  These agreements must more directly address privacy obligations.

Privacy Toolkit for educators, board members and parents-From Fordham Center for Law and Information Policy


Cheri Kiesecker

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