David Gamberg, the enlightened and thoughtful superintendent of the Southold school district in Long Island, New York, wrote a letter to the president of inBloom and asked that the corporation remove any data pertaining to the students of his district.
For his willingness to say “no, not with our students,” David Gamberg is hereby added to the honor roll as a champion of American education. He has done the honorable thing. He has defended his students against commercial exploitation and defended their right to privacy and their right to be left alone by a government and a private sector that believes that privacy is dead. Not in Southold!
New York is one of the few states in the nation that has agreed to hand over all personal, confidential student information to inBloom.
inBloom is the corporation funded by the Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation ($100 million from Gates) to collect personal, identifiable student data. The software was created by Wireless Generation, part of Joel Klein’s Amplify, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The data will be stored on a “cloud” managed by amazon.com.
Gamberg does not want the personal data of the students in his district on that cloud. Good for him!
What’s is in the data set? 400 data points about every student. Personal, confidential, identifiable.
How is this legally possible? In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education changed the regulations for the federal privacy act, known as FERPA. As a result, this data may now be released to third parties without parental consent.
Why was all that data collected? In some cases it was necessary for the schools and the districts, but the sudden creation of huge data warehouses was mandated for those states that received funds from Race to the Top or waivers from NCLB.
In other words, friends, the Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education worked together to assure that every piece of data about the children of America would be assembled in one place. inBloom makes no guarantees that the data cloud cannot be hacked.
Please read Superintendent Gamberg’s letter to the president of inBlooom, Mr. Iwan Streichenberger. It is attached to the link above. Ever superintendent and school board should use this letter as a model to protect the privacy of their students and families.