InBloom: Chicago parents and teachers organize against privatization of children's information... Video of Leoni Haimson's half-hour presentation at the November 21, 2013 Chicago forum on the data privatization activities of 'InBloom'

More than 50 people, most of them Chicago teachers and parents, participated in a forum on November 21, 2013 at Fusco Park on Chicago's West Side. The forum was moderated by Julie Woestehoff of PURE. The two main speakers were Leonie Haimson, parent organizer for "NYC's Class Size Matters" and a national expert on inBloom and student data privacy threats and Kurt Hilgendorf, Chicago Teachers' Union researcher and lobbyist. The evening was sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union, PURE, More Than A Score, Class Size Matters, and Parents Across America.

A video was compiled by RPNPS Voices, of the Rodgers Park community in Chicago.

The North Side group has produced a video of Leoni Haimson's scrupulously documented presentation about the insidious incursions of privatized data accumulation on our children. The presentation was made at the forum co-sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union, More than a Score, and other local groups. The URL is:

The hiring of InBloom is another example of the privatization juggernaut. According to the press release distributed by More Than A Score: "Next year, CPS plans to join a state database of private student information created by inBloom. This program was partly built by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation which was involved in the phone-hacking scandal and illegal violations of privacy in Britain. The database will include as many as 400 pieces of information about our students, but InBloom refuses to guarantee the security of this data. Once that information is on the internet, no one can be sure where it will end up �- colleges? future employers?"

In the past, children's private information could not be shared outside of school agencies without parental permission and the information was stored by the school districts and distributed after legal requests by public workers. Last year, the federal government under Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, rewrote the regulations protecting student privacy. The new regulations allow student data to be shared with for-profit companies involved in �educational programing.� "This can be any company CPS or the state board of education chooses," More Than A Score had reported.

In Chicago, parents are routinely give a release form to sign during the first week of school. The form, if signed by parents, would give CPS a blank check to distribute what was once private student information to anyone.

The two main panelists from the forum exposing InBloom on November 21, 2013 above. Left to right: Kurt Hilgendorf, Chicago Teachers Union researcher, and Leoni Haimson, of New York's Class Size Matters. Julie Woestehoff (center background) moderated the panel. Substance photo by David Vance.Leoni was one of the people who presented at the forum. An example of a corporate media blackout on the story is also important for people to know. The panelists earlier in the day had met with the editorial boards of both the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune and went over their findings extensively with the editors of both publications. But neither the Sun-Times nor the Tribune covered the subsequent story of the event itself, either on their websites or in their print editions.

More Than A Score is circulating an online petition against InBloom:


November 25, 2013 at 1:15 PM

By: Leonie Haimson


Not sure whether it makes any difference to the state or CPS if parents sign a consent form or not. NYS and inBloom insist that they have a right to this personal student data with or without parental consent. So far, CPS and the IL Commissioner have not said parents have the right to opt out of inBloom -- but this issue should be pushed hard.

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