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THE RESISTANCE: 'There is a sense that the student privacy issue has awoken a sleeping giant in parents...' Growing number of New York districts opt out of Race To The Top, many citing InBloom and increasing privacy concerns

While a growing number of parents are signing Opt Out letters in the face of Barbara Byrd Bennett's expansion of testing and an equally controversial privatization of children's data via InBloom (and other private outfits, including DIBELS), the resistance across the USA is expanding even faster than in Illinois and Chicago. On November 15, 2013, Diane Ravicth reported on her blog that another batch of New York school districts have opted out. Previously, New York resistance leaders have been reporting teacher, principals and parent groups helping organize and lead the Resistance.

So far, neither the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAAA) nor any individual Chicago principal has spoken out publicly against the abuses of the new CPS "Performance" (for schools) or "Promotion" (for children) policies. While many principals and senior CPS staff have been complaining to Substance (because Substance has for nearly 40 years protected sources of information), the public displays of opposition have been mute in Chicago. Fear is prevalent across schools districts from Maine to California, but in many states the resistance to the unprofessional and often insulting mandates and "matrices" has led to increasing public resistance.

On November 15, 2013, Diane Ravitch reported:

The number of suburban districts in New York State dropping out of the state's Race to the Top program continues to grow, largely because of parent concern about the data-mining of their children's private records. These districts received relatively small amounts of money in exchange for accepting many mandates.

This article sums up the current situation:

Twenty-eight school districts in the Lower Hudson Valley have dropped out of the Race to the Top program in recent weeks, largely due to state plans to share student records with a privately run database, a survey has found.

Four more districts will consider the move within a week, and several others may do so in time.

The Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents surveyed 76 districts, including special act districts, in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Of the 53 districts that responded, more than half have pulled out of Race to the Top since last month forfeiting mostly small federal grants. Another 10 districts never took part in the program.

Our concerns have to do with how the state can guarantee thedata will be secure in the future, said South Orangetown Superintendent Kenneth Mitchell, president of the superintendents group.

The state Board of Regents wants to send about 400 categories of student records, starting with names, to inBloom, a nonprofit group, so that educators can better analyze student needs. But local school officials and parents have expressed grave concerns over how the encrypted data from disciplinary to health to income records could be used down the line.

In addition, the following information comes from the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents:

Opting out

Districts that dropped out of Race to the Top: Bedford, Brewster, Byram Hills, Carmel, Croton-Harmon, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Elmsford, Garrison, Greenburgh Graham, Hastings, Hendrick Hudson, Hyde Park, Irvington, Lakeland, Mahopac, Mamaroneck, Mount Pleasant, Pearl River, Pelham, Pleasantville, Pocantico Hills, Rye Neck, Somers, South Orangetown, Spackenkill, Tuckahoe and Yorktown.

Districts that never joined RTTT: Ardsley, Blind Brook, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, Chappaqua, Edgemont, Harrison, Putnam Valley, Rye City and Scarsdale.

Source: Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents

Twenty-eight school districts in the Lower Hudson Valley have dropped out of the Race to the Top program in recent weeks, largely due to state plans to share student records with a privately run database, a survey has found.

Four more districts will consider the move within a week, and several others may do so in time.

The Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents surveyed 76 districts, including special act districts, in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Of the 53 districts that responded, more than half have pulled out of Race to the Top since last month forfeiting mostly small federal grants. Another 10 districts never took part in the program.

Our concerns have to do with how the state can guarantee the data will be secure in the future, said South Orangetown Superintendent Kenneth Mitchell, president of the superintendents group.

The state Board of Regents wants to send about 400 categories of student records, starting with names, to inBloom, a nonprofit group, so that educators can better analyze student needs. But local school officials and parents have expressed grave concerns over how the encrypted data from disciplinary to health to income records could be used down the line.

We havent gotten real clear answers, said Hendrick Hudson Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter, whose district opted out Wednesday night. In the absence of certainty, districts are opting out and losing trust.

On Wednesday, lawyers representing a dozen New York City parents filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the state from shipping records to the inBloom.

Illinois is the only other state fully committed to inBloom, which is struggling to find support for a national database of student records.

Districts have dropped out of Race to the Top to avoid having to choose a state-sponsored data portal that will connect to inBlooms database. But state officials insist that districts have to contribute much of the same data.

There is a sense that the student privacy issue has awoken a sleeping giant in parents, even more so than testing, said Susan Elion Wollin, president of the Bedford school board, which withdrew Wednesday, and president of the Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association. We all want whats best for the kids, but people need to hear what the state is doing to accommodate concerns.

Districts that dropped out of Race to the Top still have to use the Common Core learning standards and tests.

Source: Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents



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