This parent warns that BIG DATA is working its way into the schools, not only in Oregon but across the nation. Why do they want to know everything about your child? The most likely reason: for marketing stuff to them. We have already learned about the collaboration between the Gates Foundation and Rupert Murdoch to collect student data. Parents in Louisiana are worried about this. So should parents in New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Colorado, and elsewhere.

The parent from Oregon, who happens to be a physician, writes:

Rep. Lew Frederick is a great champion for public education! He has been attentive to the Oregon Save Our Schools activists.

This past Thursday, Senator Mark Hass introduced SB 567 on behalf of Oregon Save Our Schools. He is the Chair of the Senate’s Education and Workforce Development Committee.

To access the bill and written testimony, which includes support from Oregon ACLU, go to these links.

Click to access sb0567.intro.pdf

With the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) dismantled by rule changes in Dec. 2011 and with the onslaught of BIG DATA collected and mined in state longitudinal data systems, we believe a Chief Privacy Officer for Education is essential.

We also agree with Kathleen Styles, the US Dept. of Education’s first CPO, that beyond compliance with laws, state agencies should use fair information practices.

Among other things, Fair Information Practices include knowing what kind of data is collected, why it is collected and who has access to it.

We also need to be able to correct records… As I testified, my son’s SLDS records (obtained through a FERPA request) have him coded 4 times from 4th through 8th grade as a “W8”: Left to Earn a GED. I assure you he did not do that. Yet the Oregon Department of Education and the Beaverton School District don’t have a good explanation for that code and don’t seem to care to fix it! (Imagine how many other kids are wrongly coded and what that might mean for those “turnaround” schools!)

In my testimony, I advocated for an amendment to expand the work of a CPO. See Ohio and CA websites:

I did this because mission creep is already happening here. HIPAA is the federal law that protects patient privacy. Last summer, Oregon’s Early Learning Council asked for a federal waiver for HIPAA/FERPA as needed for data sharing. No doubt that more health records will be maintained as “education records” on our new Student Information System, Edupoint Synergy, in the Beaverton School District since we were awarded $500,000 for school-based health care.

As a physician, I am very aware that this sector has had huge data breaches–so much so that the 2009 stimulus stipulated that the Office of Civil Rights monitor breaches greater than 500.

The largest breach last year was Utah Department of Health. Nearly 800,000 records breached due to a weak password… A big problem since the BSD Chief Information Officer says Edupoint’s Synergy does not demand password stringency for ParentVue.

The Oregon Department of Education was unaware that FERPA trumps HIPAA in p-12 education.

Click to access hipaaferpajointguide.pdf

I also included information on a “Memorandum of Understanding” funded by the Gates Foundation to create a regional data exchange in Sept. 2011. Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho agencies have been using the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and the National Student Clearinghouse as intermediaries to disclose and redisclose data since TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE NEW FERPA RULES WERE FINALIZED!!!

Lastly, I admonished the Senators to be wary of the data reporting contract awarded by SBAC to Wireless Generation, a subsidiary of News Corps. Education Division, Amplify.

Lisa Shultz, a Mentor Graphics engineer and former Beaverton School District School Board member, also gave testimony that day. That she never knew these databases existed when she was a board member says something. Her testimony is very powerful!!!