So Why Be Concerned About the Data Tracking of Personally Identifiable Information? A Congressional Candidate Tells You Why.
There has been a spirited discussion on a Facebook thread about information needed on a kindergarten admission form about the mother’s pregnancy: details of how the child was delivered and if the baby was premature. This is ostensibly to determine if the child is suffering any delays from a difficult birthing process and would aid educational professionals for teaching strategies.
We wrote about the new forms for kindergarten entrance in October 2013 and one’s mother refusal to fill out these forms. The principal tied the data requirement into the CCSSI (as the Initiative requires the expansion of longitudinal data systems for data tracking). From Kindergarten – No One Gets In Without A Health Form:
The Principal took me into her office and shut the door. She asked what my concerns were with the registration papers. I told her I didn’t believe any health information on my child was necessary to teach him. I told her also that as his parent, I am very capable of making sure his health needs are taken care of, and that if he needed glasses, hearing aids, etc., I would be the one to get it done, and in the event that my son DID need medication, additional medical appliances that the school needed to be aware of, I would notify them. Other than that, I told her, that was HIS private information, and they were not going to have it under any circumstance.
When I told the Principal this, she asked me, “Are you worried that if you take your son to the doctor that he’ll find something wrong with him?” I knew then that she saw my refusal to comply as unacceptable or unreasonable. I explained again that I was certain that my child was completely healthy and able to learn, but that I didn’t believe the school district needed to know his weight or blood type in order to teach him. She tried to tell me that these forms were given to her by the district, that she didn’t have anything to do with them, and everyone needed to follow the rules in order to do anything in life. She explained that she followed rules, and that she was aware that if she wanted something for her or her kids, she knew that certain rules applied and she was okay with that. I replied that I am a very staunch believer in rules, as long as they are justified and served a righteous purpose. At length I finally told her that I had NO problem homeschooling my son if these forms were necessary to enter Kindergarten.
That’s when she asked me, “So you’re familiar with Common Core, then?” At that moment I understood that the health forms were PART of Common Core. I told her I was familiar with Common Core, but still learning. She told me that CC would unify all schools, and make it SO much easier for transferring students to be on the same page. I replied that I didn’t like that my children would be treated like numbers, and that gov’t had no right to mandate what or how my children were taught. I FULLY expected her to retaliate and lie to me like everyone else who says, “Oh but our teachers DO get a say, they get to choose what and how they teach, etc. etc.” She simply shrugged and said, “Well, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it.” Basically telling me that was right.
We questioned the need for the pregnancy question in June 2011 when we wrote Is this Information Necessary for Educating Your Child? Just Wait. The Questions Will Become More Intrusive:
The educational Longitudinal Data System may be in operation sooner than thought in terms of asking invasive personal questions. Here is a story from the UK Daily Mail about a California school in the Dry Creek School District requesting this information on a school enrollment form:
Did you deliver your child vaginally or by c-section? If you check the c-section box you’re asked to include why the surgery was performed. (Note: The questions are marked as optional.)
A follow-up story on Mominformation blog states the district has rethought its practice of asking for this information:
Story update: Momformation reached out to Dry Creek School District this morning and heard back from superintendent Mark Geyer this afternoon. He says the question about how a child was delivered at birth was included in a health form required for enrollment that was created in 2007. At the time, research indicated that children delivered by c-section were more likely to have certain learning disabilities and health issues. Geyer says the district looked into the matter after the CBS segment and found that research related to c-sections has changed. This morning, the district introduced a revised form. “The question about c-sections might have been pertinent at the time the form was introduced,” Geyer said. “But we’ve realized that the research has changed and there’s no longer a correlation.
As was pointed out in the current Facebook discussion about the kindergarten forms now making the rounds in all public schools asking pregnancy questions, this request for information has been asked in various school districts for several years. What is different, however, is that this information is now personally identifiable and tied to an individual student number. These labels will follow the student from cradle to grave. When education dollars become scarcer and the intensity of demanding students become better Return on Investments (ROIs), these children might very well be seen as poor investments. Do you ever wonder why special education student educational needs were never taken into consideration in the crafting of Common Core?
Some say this information is needed for educational assessments. Many parents are worried about if this information will be going out of the school district to third party researchers and federal agencies and wonder how this information will be used. They may have valid concerns on data accessing by other entities outside the school district that will determine their child’s path in life. A post from Lily Williams on Facebook, a Congressional candidate from Colorado and her personal experience on data tracking of children:
When I was growing up under Mao’s regime in China, the government used Household Registration and Personnel File system to keep track of its citizens from birth to death. This old photo of me in Mao’s Red Guard uniform was used in my Middle School Student File which documented everything: age, gender, parents, their jobs and political class, religion, siblings, home address, your grades, awards, punishments, politically incorrect speeches, bad behaviors, etc. Then this file followed me to my high school, college, my first job, my future jobs, etc. It was shared by all the government agencies and employers.
Before I left for America to pursue a master degree, my Communist boss made me to sign a paper to promise to return to my job after my graduate study or my file would be returned back to my hometown Chengdu of Sichuan Province. I was the law school assistant professor at Fudan University in Shanghai which is one of the top Chinese universities. Sending my file back to my hometown means I would lose my legal career forever and has a black spot in my file which makes it harder to get another good job. I had to sign it in order for my employer to release me so I could apply for my passport with their consent papers. Even though I finally broke the tracking of Chinese government of me by coming to America, but I still feel sometimes I could be haunted by my file, have nightmares about it, which finally went back to my hometown Chengdu somewhere in the local security or police office today.
I am running for state representative in HD 44 in Colorado, because I want to use my own story as a Chinese immigrant to wake up Americans, because I believe this country is the Shining City on the Hill I came here for. What is happening now and what has happened for a long time is very dangerous and scary. NSA is watching us, Common Core is used to track our children, our government and corporations are invading our privacy, what else could come to take away more of our rights? Our freedom is very precious and we must fight to keep it. Without it, you are just a slave no matter how much money you have. Trust me to say this because I lived under tyranny before and will never want to live in it again. I took a long journey from tyranny to liberty, feel like I am back in tyranny again. If you like my story, please share this and like my FB: Lily4Liberty, or check out my web site: www.lily4liberty.com. Please join me to fight for our liberties, join me to repeal Common Core. Thank you for your contribution and support.
This is an example of how data can be used. Is your child’s data used for other purposes outside the school building walls? Ask your school board members, principal and superintendent that question. If they can’t answer that question, don’t fill it out. You have a right to know who has your child’s data, why they have the information and how it is to be used. Until the local school officials can give you these answers, refuse to provide. After all, we’re not China, right? Or are we? Who can answer that question? We’re on the right trajectory…isn’t tracking citizens from ‘birth to death’ the same as tracking children ‘cradle to grave’?
Published on September 29, 2014