As of now, the Arizona Department of Education is continually collecting and storing personally identifiable information on your child. Even more specific information is collected via taking the AzMerit, such as test question answers, surveys, and written essays (see psychoanalysis used in education). The Arizona Department of Education has hired a company called AIR (American Institute for Research), a partner of SMARTERBalanced, to administer and grade the AzMerit. AIR is a behavioral research company. The data obtained from taking the AzMerit will be placed in the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (specifically called “AZDash” in Arizona). This information can be shared with companies and organizations that helped develop and implement the Common Core Standards, related exams, and databases due to the recent changes in FERPA laws.
(Warning: If you click on the links below, you will hear buzz words like “game changer, rigorous, critical thinking, and deeper learning”. These buzzwords are repeated over and over again as talking points –just about as bad as hearing nails on a chalk board!)
Here are just a few companies that can gain access to your child’s personal info:
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (the biggest player in Common Core);
- Achieve, Inc. (Intel, Pearson, Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, Scholastic, Microsoft, HP,…);
- William and Flora Hewlett Foundation;
- National Governors Association (this is a trade organization & does not have to answer to voters);
- Council of Chief State School Officers (another trade organization);
- American Institute for Research (AIR is a behavioral research company);
- SMARTERBalanced (SBAC) and PARCC (received over $330 million of tax payer money to develop CC tests);
- The SAT College Board and ACT;
- Pearson (wants to shift learning from tangible textbooks to online sources);
- Knewton (“data mining children” –CEO, Jose Ferreira);
- Gallup (known for national political polls);
- Agilix (talks about collecting data even on a child’s feelings);
- Personal.com (storing personal information to help you apply for future scholarships because you are incapable of doing it yourself);
- And many, many more…
But, wait! The Arizona Department of Education has promised that your child’s information will be kept safe and under complete control in the cloud.
AIR recently suffered a data breach effecting almost 6,500 people with sensitive information.
No one knows for sure what type of data will be collected on your child –not even the Arizona Department of Education. Only the U.S. Department of Education and private test companies are privy to that information. However, the U.S. Department of Education has recently changed FERPA laws so that they may obtain the following information on your child:
- The student’s name;
- The name of the student’s parent or other family members;
- The address of the student or student’s family;
- A personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number, student number, or biometric record(“Biometric record,” as used in the definition for “personally identifiable information,” means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting);
- The student’s date of birth, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name;
- The personal opinions and views of the student and his/her family members through test question answers.
If you don’t believe it, then hear it straight from the White House’s mouth:
2012 White House Education Datapalooza (this is what they really called it!)
Dr. Gary Thompson on how testing companies can gather very personal information on children: