Leonie Haimson reports here on the parent revolt against the Summit platform, pushed now by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

One of their biggest concerns is data privacy and the lack thereof.

Haimson writes:

Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, parents throughout the country rebelled against the platform, both because of its lack of privacy but also because they experienced its negative impact on their children’s learning and attitudes to school. In addition, Summit and the schools using the platform are no longer asking for parental consent, probably because so many parents refused or resisted signing the consent forms.

After the Washington Post article appeared, I expanded on the privacy concerns cited in that piece, and pointed out additional issues in my blog. I included a list of questions parents should ask Summit to clarify their data-sharing plans. Parents who sent them to Summit informed me that Summit failed to answer these questions. (I later expanded on these questions, and Rachael Stickland, the co-chair of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, submitted them to Summit representatives after personally meeting them at SXSW EDU conference in March. She also received no response.)

Meanwhile, the list of Summit schools, both public and charter, that had allegedly adopted the platform last year was taken down from the Summit website sometime between February 15 and February 18, according to the Wayback Machine – making it even more difficult to ascertain which schools and students are were actually using it. The archived list is here.

On March 3, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on the experience of parents in Boone County, Kentucky whose schools had adopted the platform– many of whom did not want to consent to their children’s data being shared with so little specificity and so few restrictions:

At the beginning of the school year, parents had to sign a permission slip allowing Summit to access their child’s profile information. Summit uses the info to “conduct surveys and studies, develop new features, products and services and otherwise as requested,” the form states. The agreement also allows Summit to disclose information to third-party service providers and partners “as directed” by schools. That, perhaps, is the biggest source of contention surrounding Summit. … “It’s optional. Nobody has to do Summit, [Deputy Superintendent Karen] Cheser said… Summit spokeswoman declined to speak on the record with The Enquirer.”

Yet within weeks of the publication of this article, at about the same time that the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative took over, someone involved in the Summit initiative decided that parents would no longer be granted the right of consent – either for their children to be subjected to the Summit instructional program or for their data to be shared according to Summit’s open-ended policies. In fact, Summit claimed the right to access, data-mine and redisclose their children’s data in the same way as before – yet now, without asking if parents agreed to these terms.

As she notes, Summit no longer considers it necessary to get parental consent before they collect and use student data.