American public schools in 9 states sharing every conceivable personal detail of their students with third parties

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86 Responses to “American public schools in 9 states sharing every conceivable personal detail of their students with third parties”

  1. aljavieera says:

    It’s odd that this appears here.

  2. sagodjur says:

    FERPA violation?

    • ldobe says:

      Sounds like it may be running afoul of COPPA

      I’ll be reading through it and see if there are any implications of violations.  IANAL, but the court of public opinion doesn’t require anyone to pass the bar.

      • ldobe says:

        Alright, I can see several things here.  COPPA prohibits online services and websites from obtaining personal information from minors without parental consent.  The definitions seem a little opaque, but I’m pretty sure an app developer that uses cloud storage or server connections within the app has a chance of counting as an online service.  Since there’s already no parental consent, and there’s also sharing of personal data with third parties, this could be a horrific clusterfuck for the BMGF.

        It may have been an oversight, but I doubt it.  I’m sure some lawyers figured out a way to do this in a technically legal way under some shady interpretation.

        It looks really bad.

    • steve_wildstrom says:

      The original Village Voice story has inBloom saying the program is in compliance with FERPA. If that is correct, it cannot be true that there are no restraints on the use of the data collected. (The Family Educational Rights Protection Act, not COPPA, is the relevant federal law.)

  3. Ian Brewer says:

    Yikes, it’s not such a stretch to imagine that this could be used as a permanent blacklist to exclude people from employment because they acted up in grade school. There’s also awful implications concerning potential stalkers.

  4. tft says:

    The horrific privacy issue aside, this is but another weapon in the education reform arsenal wielded by ALEC-minded oligarchs to privatize and monetize public education in America.

    Make some noise about this, people!

  5. HarrietNYC says:

    This is insane, a clear violation of HIPPA since it includes medical diagnoses and one  the third parties is a company run by rupert murdock, the phone hacker. 

  6. Jake0748 says:

    May I just be allowed to say, FUCK THIS SHIT!  This kind of crap has gone way too far.   There IS a right to privacy, and a right to be left to “go to hell in one’s own way”, (paraphrase of some line from S.J. Perelman).   Who ARE these people who think they know how to run everyone’s lives?  Can we get rid of them somehow? 

  7. cstatman says:

    and now,  MORE reasons why I pay OBSCENE amounts of money to send my kid to private school.     I don’t WANT to send him,  I just know it is the correct thing to do.    yes,   the classes will divide      this is BS

    • grimc says:

      You might want to call up the school tomorrow and check their privacy policies. Costly private schools seem like a pretty profitable, if smaller, market…

  8. mbystedt says:

    Somehow it seems to have been lost that the purpose of this sharing is to deliver services to schools and teachers to improve the eduction system. All the information contained in the system is readily available to the teachers and school administrators already. There’s nothing in it that anybody with access hasn’t seen already. Private schools collect the same info.

    That article is a load of drivel. (I’m so not getting any likes…) Besides provide the contracted service, the companies do nothing with the data. No company would be that incompetent or stupid. There are indeed concerns about sharing it with third parties in case they drop the ball and do some accidental sharing. I’m sure there is a vetting process and despite what the article implies… Joe Blow Inc. isn’t going to get the real data.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      That article is a load of drivel.

      I can’t deny that you’re an expert on drivel. Your complete certainty that the companies do nothing with the data, that no company would be that incompetent or stupid and that there’s a vetting process, on the other hand, show a marked lack of knowledge and experience of the real world.

      • noah django says:

         there’s always a pattern with these types…

      • mbystedt says:

        It’s true that a company may do something outside of the contract. It’s also true that individuals within the school system may do the same.

        Schools are mostly required by law (or to receive funding) to collect this data. The data is going to exist. You might as well do something useful with it. If you’re worried about that data collection then talk to your lawmaker.I’m in agreement that too much sharing to too many companies sounds bad in general.

        Woo! I’m an expert on drivel!

        • wysinwyg says:

           

          Somehow it seems to have been lost that the purpose of this sharing is
          to deliver services to schools and teachers to improve the eduction
          system.

          And the purpose of standardized testing is also to improve the educational system…and yet many argue that it does just the opposite.  Have you ever heard the idiom about what the road to hell is paved with?

          No company would be that incompetent or stupid.

          There goes your credibility.

          This is apparently your second or third comment ever on BoingBoing.  Any reason I shouldn’t suspect you of being a shill?

          • OtherMichael says:

            It is BoingBoing policy to shun shame and mock all outsiders who don’t know the secret knock*.

            * The secret knock is to knock all outsiders.

    • peregrinus says:

      Cool Story Bro!

      Now can we have all your data please?  We won’t hurt it.

    • Ian Brewer says:

      “No company would be that incompetent or stupid.”

      I’ve yet to work for a corporation that isn’t prone to incompetence and stupidity. It’s an inherent function of conformity and groupthink in any hierarchical institution, public or private.

      • mbystedt says:

        Quite true. If it was just “here’s some data and don’t release it” then I would be quite worried.

        With student data? The consequences of them screwing up and releasing the data are quite harsh (like destroy the business harsh). So, hmm… yeah I’ve seen things in companies that I though wasn’t cool but normally companies aren’t suicidal.

    • Al_Packer says:

       A company is only as smart as its least-intelligent employee.  (See also “The Peter Principle”.)

  9. flappy says:

    The sky might not be falling in your area. The amount and type of data shared is entirely up to each school district.They’re not beholden to do a data dump. (BTW, kids’ SSNs should be on that list, too.) When this story broke a few weeks ago in an article that made the above distinction clear, I wrote our district’s superintendent with my concerns. He looked into it and reported back that only anonymous test scores, no personal info, are being reported from my kids’ schools here in DE. 

    • oasisob1 says:

      He looked into it and he reported back that everything was peachy. And you fell for it.

      • flappy says:

        …And have unstated reason to continue to “fall for it”. I’m not saying it can’t happen, just that it isn’t happening to me right now. 
        I posted before the correction was made to state what the correction did.
        But I am coming for your guns.

    • Lee Barrios says:

      When I looked into this in Louisiana and checked with my school district, I found a long list of personal information INCLUDING SS# required for students to enroll. I passed that on to a school board member who was surprised and very concerned about the contract Louisiana now has with InBloom that our State Supt. is so closely guarding that he denied my FOIA to get a copy. Did I say our Supt. is a young TFA minion totally unqualified for the job to which he was appointed by our rubber stamp State Board of Education at the direction of our manic Governor Jindal who is hanging on to Jeb Bush’s coat tails in his quest for the presidency? Oh, and Suot. John White is a member of Jeb’s Chief For Change. Do I trust that this personal information is being well guarded?

  10. Andrew Famiglietti says:

    Wait, hang on, I, as a college educator, have to worry about administrators getting up and down my butt if I post comments on student work online, but the Gates foundation is in no way regulated by FERPA? WTF?

    • Lee Barrios says:

      FERPA was adjusted recently to accommodate the coming onslaught if data collection and SHARING by The Shared Learning Collaborative (does the name concern you?) check it out.

  11. MythicalMe says:

    Before everyone goes ape shit about privacy, the data structure is set up to compile information. No student profile (name, address, SSAN, etc.) is available.

    The information available is the academic progress, family situation (again no specifics just generalizations, like income class) and school curriculum. This is the kind of data that you’d want to see compiled so that comprehensive assessments can be done to bolster education.

    No future employer will be able to glean that little Johnny and little Sally were disciplined when they were in 6th grade.

  12. Mark Neumayer says:

    On the company’s website they list the states and districts they are currently working in. https://inbloom.org/states-and-districts 

  13. technogeekagain says:

    Just a quick observation that the fact that the XML schema provides fields for data does not necessarily mean those fields will be populated. It’s not uncommon to use off-the-shelf XML data structures even when they’re overkill, in order to facilitate processing the data with existing tools — just as it isn’t uncommon to do so in programming languages.

    Is there a concern here? Of course. Is there an issue? We need to go beyond the schema to determine that.

  14. Happeh says:

    Isn’t this a pedophile shopping network?

    Or an egg harvesting network for in vitro fertilization?

    “Choose which girl you like and we will arrange for a medical situation to arise during which eggs can be harvested? “

  15. Andrew Brown says:

    I just recently registered my daughter for kindergarten in Texas.  I had to opt out of allowing her picture, address, birthday and other information to be publicly available. 

  16. Cory Doctorow says:

     I got a very late night phone call on my cell last night from Genevieve Haas, Account Director at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, a PR firm that apparently represents inBloom. She followed up with the email below. Ms Haas did not indicate in her email whether she had been retained to represent inBloom, but it seems likely, given the content of her email. I reproduce it in full below. I believe that many of the “factual inaccuracies” she points to are not, in fact “factual inaccuracies,” but, rather, differences of interpretation and/or reasonable inferences. However, you can make up your own mind.

    Hi Cory,

    I left you a voicemail and so please forgive the
    duplication if you’ve already received it, but I’m hoping to reach you
    as soon as possible. I work with inBloom, which you posted about
    yesterday on Boing Boing (http://boingboing.net/2013/04/04/american-public-schools-in-9-s.html)
    and there are a number of factual inaccuracies that we urgently need you to correct.

     

    I don’t know if you tried to reach out to either
    inBloom or any of the states or districts that are using inBloom’s
    services, but I hope you will consider issuing a correction or follow up
    regarding the following:

     

     

    “inBloom,  a Gates-funded non-profit to harness
    data to improve grade school education, has partnered with New York and
    eight other states to encourage the development of apps to “further
    education” by using intimate data about students,
    without parental consent and with no ability for parents to opt out. “

     

    Correction: The decision about an individual
    opt-out provision is one that individual states and districts must make
    in consideration of a number of factors including data security and
    economic feasibility, but in most cases, that decision
    has not even been made yet. I recommend that you reach out to the state
    and district agencies if you have questions about whether they plan to
    offer an opt out provision.

    [Ed: the fact that it has not been determined does not mean it will be determined in a way that allows for opt-out, and as the Voice and other stories point out, the NY collection looks like it won't allow opt-out]

     

    “Among the data shared are name, address, phone
    numbers, test scores, grades, economic status, test scores, disciplinary
    records, picture, email, race, developmental delay…

    just about everything conceivable, and all specific, none of it
    anonymized. inBloom has arrangements with nine states (New York,
    Massachusetts, Louisiana, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia,
    Delaware and Kentucky) to do this. “

     

    Correction: I’m not sure what sharing you are
    referring to here, but the implication is that if a district stores a
    piece of data in the inBloom data  store, that data becomes available to
    any vendor or service provider contracted with
    the district. That is emphatically not the case. States and districts
    can and already do share relevant data with providers, but by no means
    is it a buffet. Providers can access only the data relevant to their
    services; the data they generate (from learning
    tools or analytics e.g.) is then released back to the school district.
    Using inBloom, the school district has more control over its data
    because it is stored in the district’s cloud-based database, rather than
    stored by the provider.  (I’m happy to expand
    on this if you would like an example). Above all, what’s lost here is
    that states and districts already gather all this data, and already use
    third party services to manage  it and deliver services, but right now
    that data is stored in a hodge-podge of systems
    with variable security measures. 

    [Ed: The fact that existing practices are horrible is a good point, but does not make the fact that the new practices will also gather enormous amount of data and make it available to third parties reassuring]

     

    Your point about anonymity is also off the mark.
    Depending on the usage, student data is often anonymized, for instance,
    in most states, the majority of data that districts report to the state
    education authority is always anonymized, which,
    again, will not change.

    [Ed: Computer scientists are skeptical that "anonymizing data" of this sort is even possible]

     

    Finally, your assertion that “every conceivable”
    type of data will be collected is incorrect. inBloom has a lengthy list
    of the types of data fields that it can recognize, based on the range of
    data types that states and districts collect
    now, but that serves as a set of definitions for states and districts
    to refer to in  defining what types of data they want  to store using
    inBloom’s services, not a blanket statement of what will be stored. And I
    will again note that this will not change
    what data schools already gather or generate about their students.

    [Ed: this is true, however, creating a system that allows for the storage and manipulation of sensitive data types is certainly riskier than creating a system that does NOT allow for that storage]

    “The XML schema used are downloadable
    here. Anyone can register
    as a developer and start using “sample” data, but “real” data is
    supposedly only available to developers with contracts with a school
    board. But this includes for-profit, third party developers,
    such as, say, Amplify, a News Corp subsidiary with a contract with New
    York. And it doesn’t appear there are any constraints “

    Correction:  There are lots of constraints, the
    same constraints, in fact,  that exist now to protect student data, none
    of which change with the use of the inBloom’s services. And finally, I
    can confirm that yes, as remains the case, the
    only entities permitted to access student data are those that are
    contracted for specific educational purposes. Even inBloom, which is
    hosting the data and providing the services, is not permitted to access
    the data unless specifically instructed to do so for
    maintenance purposes. inBloom can never share or redisclose data,
    anonymized or otherwise.

     
    [The fact that the new system has the same constraints as the old system doesn't mean that the new system is good. If the old system is bad, the new system will be bad, too. But the correction that there are constraints is important]

    I sincerely hope to hear from you as soon as
    possible and we would really appreciate the chance to respond to any
    questions or assertions about inBloom in the future. You can reach me at XXXXXXXX or at this email address and you can
    always reach someone from inBloom at
    inBloom@waggeneredstrom.com.

     

    Regards,

    Genevieve Haas

     

     

    GENEVIEVE HAAS |  Account Director | 
    Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

    • twianto says:

      Perhaps it _would_ have been better to just ask them what they’re up to before publishing a story that’s rife with errors?

  17. Rob Tabish says:

    so now, when the teacher says “this is going on your permanent record, young man!” it is actually something to worry about?

  18. OtherMichael says:

    Take your stinking facts outta here!

    Facts are for posters, not commenters!

  19. Greg Mortimer says:

    My names is Greg Mortimer, I’m the CIO at Jefferson County Schools in Colorado, and I am one of the folks leading the inBloom work at our district. I am incredibly disappointed to see such slanted, uninformed reporting that paints an inaccurate picture of the inBloom work. Cory – I have your phone number and I’ll be calling you in a couple minutes. 

  20. Greg Mortimer says:

    Cory,

     

    This forum does not offer the ability to go into tremendous
    detail, but I do want to say that folks who are proactively advocating against
    the work that inBloom is undertaking are in fact advocating against teachers
    who are trying to improve their craft with data-driven instructional decisions.
    You have posted an inflammatory blog post without having the journalistic
    decency to talk with K-12 folks who are working hard on this effort. We’re
    doing this because we care about kids, and because we want to equip teachers
    with data systems that will enable them to personalize their instruction to
    meet students where they are at in their learning journey.

     

    It is beyond the scope of this response to go into
    tremendous detail, but I will say that any data that is stored in the inBloom data
    store will be secured with some of the best security resources and
    infrastructure available and that it will be stored and accessed in a 100%
    FERPA-compliant manner. Districts and states are the stewards of this data –
    just as we have always been – and we are the ones who will dictate the terms of
    its use. And again – we are utilizing inBloom technology services to dramatically
    lower the cost of providing instructional technology in support of teachers and
    kids.

     

    I would encourage you and your readers to read two thoughtful
    posts on this subject:

     

    Regarding FERPA-compliance: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/03/28/on-the-question-of-student-privacy/

     

    Regarding how the data will be used: http://www.informationweek.com/education/instructional-it/hope-battles-fear-over-student-data-inte/240151687

     

    Respectfully,

     

    Greg Mortimer,

    Chief Information Officer

    Jefferson County Public Schools

    Golden, Colorado

    • tft says:

       I am one of those teachers, and I can tell you that the data you are mandated to collect is never shown to me nor do I need it.

      This is simply part of the scheme to demonize public schools and teachers. To infantilize us. To ignore the glaring problem of poverty and low SES that are the disease our failing students suffer from. They don’t suffer from bad teachers or a lack of blended learning, or whatever.

      You don’t need the data. The data are meaningless, unless you would like to use them to erroneously rate teachers based on the useless, error-filled data.

      The chief information officer can usually be called the chief propaganda officer. One doesn’t’ get that position favoring the children.

      Looking forward to the phone call response.

      • Greg Mortimer says:

        TFT – We have worked closely with Jeffco teachers to ensure that their voice is included in this process. In fact, the work we are doing is in response to teachers telling us that they need to log in to far too many systems to get the data they need to inform instruction. inBloom offers the technology to pull data from many systems into one dashboard, saving hours of work to gather the data manually. We’ve shown a couple hundred of our teachers prototypes of the technology instructional tools that inBloom can enable, and the most common response is, “I want this in my classroom tomorrow.”

        I choose to be a K12 technology leader because I believe in the mission, and because I want to provide tools that I could have benefited from as a classroom teacher. 

        • tft says:

           I don’t buy any of that.

          I know teachers. You know that they fear you management types and will say anything to please you, as the use of the data –however useless– is a foregone conclusion. We have to sound as if data drives our instruction; it does. Just not the data you collect.

          Teachers don’t need those aggregated data. They see the kids every day.

          There are millions of teachers. A couple hundred does not a valid sample make. And, how do I know you’re not padding the numbers? I have never met a teacher who wants or needs all these ‘data.’

          You chose to leave the kids and become management. That’s all we need to know about your commitment to kids, dude.

          • Greg Mortimer says:

            Mr. Sugarman – I respect you for entering the teaching profession in your mid-30s, and suspect that I could learn a lot from you. 

            But you don’t know me, and I am respectfully bowing out of a dialogue that includes accusatory assumptions.

          • tft says:

             Thanks for doing the research on me. You could probably learn a lot from many people.

            Before I became a teacher I worked with kids. So yeah, my 30 years experience has shown me much.

            Tell us, how long were you a teacher before you became an IT guy?

            We teachers are at war with the reformers. You sound like one. So, that’s why you get my ire.

            Data is not the holy grail. Indeed, it’s basically useless to the teacher. And the data thus far have been misused to shut down schools, tarnish them, and fire teachers or rate them –erroneously.

            You can bow out. That’s probably smart on your part. But this ain’t over.

          • tft says:

             And, it’s SugErman.

          • tft says:

             “Greg has four years of classroom teaching experience in Hungary, China
            and the United States. Drawing on both his technology and teaching
            expertise”

            I assume you provided that bio to
            http://schedule.sxswedu.com/speakers/speaker_619621

            The funny (if it weren’t so preposterous) part of that bio is the ‘expertise’ part.

            And it’s just that part of your bio and the arrogance it displays that is so frustrating and telling.

            There you are, claiming to know about teaching, when you never taught long enough to ever establish yourself as a teacher, 4 years in 3 different countries? And you’re the classroom expert?

            Please.

            The reform movement is littered with guys like you, extolling your experience, when examined, isn’t really there. At all.

            And we teachers, many of us with decades inside a classroom actually teaching children day after day, year after year, decade after decade, have to sit in PD meetings listening to you tell us about data.

            Again, please.

            So, you bow out because of my vulgar mouth.

          • Greg Mortimer says:

            Mr. Sugerman, 

            I apologize for misspelling your last name.

            Since the tone has calmed a bit, I’ll add a couple more comments. 

            I did teach and the experience deepened my appreciation for teachers and the profession. I have some expertise in the area, but certainly not as much as the excellent teachers in our district. 

            I’m not a reformer; I am a K12 technologist who is trying to align our limited IT resources with what our instructional experts tell me are the needs in our classrooms. They know that I am a huge fan of teachers, and they know that they have my respect. 

            I don’t lead PD sessions – our master teachers do that. And they share their expertise about many things, including how to utilize data to inform instruction. They tell me that they want tools that will utilize data to suggest instructional resources to better enable them to differentiate instruction. My team and I listen really carefully and are giving our best effort to provide what our instructional experts are asking for. 

            There are a lot of layers and nuances and perspectives on educational reform, and I’m not an expert in that area. 

            But regarding data: it would be hard to find anyone anywhere who thinks that we should track student attendance and contact info and grades and formative assessment data, etc, etc, etc for Jeffco’s 85,000 students on paper. That’s why districts track that type of data in electronic databases, and inBloom offers us the ability to do that more securely than we can with our limited K12 resources.

            But I’m pretty sure that the folks who are the most bellicose in their opposition to inBloom aren’t truly concerned about the security of the data, assuming they are willing to take a dispassionate look at the world-class security best-practices that inBloom brings to the table. And after an honest evaluation of the way that inBloom tech services are offered up in a FERPA-compliant manner, I don’t think that an honest critic believes that districts are going to sell the data or use it for non-instructional purposes. I think the debate is instead ideological in nature, and I am not qualified to offer an expert opinion on that subject.

            I do not discount your teacher’s voice – it’s valuable and needed. But – with all due respect – it would honor your profession if you would present your views in a manner worthy of your vocational calling. 

          • tft says:

            We rank and file teachers are beer drinking cussers. Educated ones.

            And, do you really think I am against tracking attendance? You think that’s my beef? Or is that your most solid rejoinder?

            That this data suck may be compliant with some law is not really very impressive. And, according to your own link a few silly posts back, there is a debate as to the FERPAness of the whole thing anyway.

            Don’t try to foist this nonsense on kids and their parents, and therefore teachers and schools by extension. Or is it vice-versa? Hard to keep up with all the bullshit.. Don’t tell us it’s safe. That it’s available is the problem. It will be misused. I promise.

            The whole teaching profession is against you. Parents are against you. The kids are against you. Only the dollars are talking and with you, and that’s what you get paid for–you speak for the district, not the kids –that would be the teachers and the unions who do that.

            Take your silly Thurston Howell talk and be silly, Mr. Mortimer. Don’t try to tell me how this issue is all cool and everything.

            This ain’t my first rodeo.

      • jm31684 says:

        You’re not “one of those teachers”. You’re an unemployed former public school teacher who left the classroom over four years ago: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mrsugerman.

        ‘Bout time you stepped off your high horse, cowboy.

    • Tom Teshima says:

       The Washington Post article says nothing that contradicts what is stated in the BB post.  The question is who has access to this data.  Parents did NOT grant permission to outside PRIVATE agencies to have access to highly personal, specific information on their children.  As an adult, I am very disturbed by agencies collecting data on adults.  As a parent, I am OUTRAGED that you are collecting this highly personal information without my consent.  If you don’t understand this, then you need to get a different job. Trying to justify it under the guise of educational reform is a load of BS.  It is wrong and should not be happening.

      • Greg Mortimer says:

        Tom – I appreciate your passion, but I have a different perspective. School districts have been collecting data for numerous reasons in multiple systems for years, ranging from contact information, attendance data, discipline data, assessments, etc. I recognize that there are philosophical differences in regard to data collection, but the reality is that nearly every district collects data in multiple, disparate systems, and we are charged with doing this in a responsible, secure, FERPA-compliant manner. 

        Storing data in the inBloom data store does not represent a change of business practice in terms of handling student data. In fact, inBloom has the resources to secure that data better than any district or state department of ed in the country. We are not looking to collect different data than is already collected by every district today, but inBloom offers the opportunity to secure the data better than we can today. 

        • tft says:

           It used to be that if someone wanted to get to the student data they would have to break into the office and open the file cabinet and steal the cum folders. They would need boxes, hand trucks and ski masks.

          Now any hacker will be able to break the security and steal thousands of kid’s files electronically (as if the selling of the info isn’t bad enough. Oh, and making us opt out instead of opt in.)

          This isn’t a philosophical difference. This is totally different, and the data WILL be misused–that’s the fucking point of reform–to misuse data to falsely blame teachers and poor kids for poor school performance of said poor kids.

          Quit your job, Greg. You’re hurting everyone with your lame defense of the indefensible.

          • Greg Mortimer says:

            TFT – I’m all for vigorous debate, but not for vulgar, accusatory, name-calling. I am respectfully bowing out of the conversation. 

          • tft says:

             Wimp. (2nd try)

          • tft says:

            I see you have a blurb on inBloom’s website. Did they pay you for that? Did they buy you anything for that? Were any goods or services exchanged for your blurb?

            https://www.inbloom.org/states-and-districts

          • OtherMichael says:

            @tfteacher:disqus  At least he doesn’t profess to be an expert teacher with a poor grasp of logic and math.

            Hacker? You’re commenting on BoingBoing and you use the word hacker like that? Like it’s some sort of criminal? Who the eff are you? Boxes handtrucks and ski masks? Have you ever been in a high school? Heard a fire alarm that wasn’t set off by a fire? Do you really think your students don’t know how to get to any rat hole in the building they don’t want to get into?

            I hope you don’t coach a high-school debate team, because they’d wipe the floor with you, and not even have to resort to Squirrel Killers.

            Now, oral interp — that seems more your style. You do give good rant.

          • tft says:

             So sorry OtherMichael. You’re right. About everything. Thank god for you!

  21. Al_Packer says:

    My belief is that all on-line privacy should be based on requiring clear and specific approval by the individual before their information is shared.  That’s the standard in the medical field; it should also be the standard in the educational environment.  Would that be unwieldy? Yes, which is even more desirable.

    I’d further argue that one’s personal data should be protected by copyright:  The individual should automatically own the copyright to all her/his personal information.  Got any Senators or Representatives who would be willing to pick up the torch?

  22. Greg Mortimer says:

    Tom – I appreciate your passion, but I have a different perspective. School districts have been collecting data for numerous reasons in multiple systems for years, ranging from contact information, attendance data, discipline data, assessments, etc. I recognize that there are philosophical differences in regard to data collection, but the reality is that nearly every district collects data in multiple, disparate systems, and we are charged with doing this in a responsible, secure, FERPA-compliant manner. 

    Storing data in the inBloom data store does not represent a change of business practice in terms of handling student data. In fact, inBloom has the resources to secure that data better than any district or state department of ed in the country. We are not looking to collect different data than is already collected by every district today, but inBloom offers the opportunity to secure the data better than we can today. 

  23. theNightSkate says:

    Popcorn anybody?

    • social_maladroit says:

      How many times do you think he’ll say he’ll “respectfully bow out” before he actually shuts up? It’s two and counting.

      Not that I want him to. Beside the interesting debate, it’s hilarious to hear an IT guy get all offended because someone (gasp) isn’t being polite to him on the Internet.

        • tft says:

          Sorry for any violations of whatever loose code you may or may not adhere to regarding comments.

          • social_maladroit says:

            No, no, please continue. Sorry for any confusion. I was referring to your interlocutor, who seems to think that just because you’re a teacher, you should never, ever use cuss words.

          • tft says:

             I got that. But a couple of my comments didn’t survive. Maybe calling him a pussy was over the top?

          • social_maladroit says:

            (Looks like we’ve reached Disqus’ threading limit. This is a reply to tft.)

            Maybe calling him a pussy was over the top?

            LOL.

            Maybe. But usually when you’ve said something on BB that the moderators have removed, they leave a placeholder behind, with the author “Guest” and the content comment removed. In other words, there’s absolutely no question that your post’s been moderated. My guess would be that your posts didn’t make it through in the first place.

          • jm31684 says:

            Actually, TFT isn’t a teacher. According to his LinkedIn profile, his public school teaching career ended over 4 years ago: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mrsugerman

            And the links to his teaching credentials are broken: http://www.richardsugerman.com

            Hard to tell what he is, except perhaps a fraud.

          • tft says:

             Like a Marine, once a teacher, always a teacher.

            Fraud? Really?

          • tft says:

             Thanks for the broken link notification, jm31684. It’s fixed now.

          • jm31684 says:

            TFT is great at cussing. And masquerading as a public school teacher who is fighting the good fight. Quit your teaching job TFT. Oh wait – you don’t have one.

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