The superintendent of schools in Pleasantville, New York, announced that the district was returning its Race to the Top funding and withdrawing from Race to the Top.

The reason: the district wants to protect the privacy of its students. New York is one of the few states that has agreed to turn over all student data to inBloom, the Gates-funded data mining operation whose software was developed by a company owned by Rupert Murdoch . Since New York is not allowing parents to refuse permission to remove their names from this mammoth database in the “cloud,” the whole district has opted out of RTTT.

“Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter said the district will return grant funds in favor of protecting student privacy. Citing a desire to “protect student privacy,” Pleasantville Union Free School District Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter said she thinks it’s “a really big deal” that the Board of Education voted to withdraw from the federal Race to the Top program.

“The district’s Board voted on a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting to return the $6,000 in grant funds—distributed over the course of four years—that would require Pleasantville to “comply with a number of New York State requirements, including participation in an electronic data portal—a data dashboard,” according to a statement from the schools.”

Apparently, many other districts have also dropped out of Race to the Top:

“In an interview with Patch Friday, Fox-Alter said the “data dashboard” would remotely host student information that ranges from academic programs to immunization records, disciplinary records and attendance.

“This dashboard has the potential to collect over 400 data elements that have been identified in the State Education Department’s data template dictionary,” according to the statement.

“Many of the student-tracking data is already collected—and protected—by the district, according to Fox-Alter.

“Pleasantville already has a password-protected system that provides student information to parents and protects student privacy; the data dashboard required by the State Education Department is both redundant and, through inclusion of personally identifiable information such as discipline flags, immunization shots, attendance, and more, could violate students’ privacy rights,” the statement said.

“Fox-Alter added other area school districts have taken similar measures in the name of protecting student privacy, including Hastings-on-Hudson, Mount Pleasant, Pocantico Hills, Pelham, Rye Neck and Hyde Park.

“The potential for data mining is staggering,” Pleasantville’s Superintendent added. “It is frightening that corporations such as Pearson and EScholar are involved in this data cloud and are forecasting great profit in the K-12 public education market.”

I wonder if this means that the districts do not have to judge their teachers by student test scores or open charter schools?

Imagine: the Pleasantville district was wrapped up in federal mandates and massive invasion of student privacy for only $1500 a year. What a bad deal!