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Sunday, April 19, 2015

inBloom: corporatizing America's schools
(Page 3 of 3)
I see inBloom as a next step –– or misstep –– in the corporatization of American schools. It is a process that has been ongoing since public education began en masse in the 19th century, and big business’s “scientific management” principles were applied to the classroom to mass-produce educated adults in what many called “assembly-line schools.” Now we have Cloud technology to save the American education system.

And, once again, we see the federal and state departments of education not only setting policy, but also asserting control over classroom learning, thereby removing local control over the schools. This time they’re handing it over to corporate executives with little to no classroom experience. inBloom’s five-member board has one teacher. The others are, at best, educational “advisers.” Its chief executive officer is a software developer.

Two bills now in the New York State Legislature, one in the Assembly (A06059) and one in the Senate (S04284), would prohibit the disclosure of highly personal student information to third-party corporations and would specify cases for disclosure, such as for research studies carried out on behalf of the state Department of Education or a school district. It would also hold the state, districts and boards of education legally responsible for security breaches.

Email your legislators and tell them to pass these bills ASAP. At the very least, our children need and deserve their privacy.

Scott Brinton is senior editor of the Bellmore and Merrick Heralds and an adjunct professor at the Hofstra University Graduate Journalism Program. Comments? SBrinton@liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 203. Brinton’s profile and posts can be found at facebook.com/scottabrinton.

Comments

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krtmcg

Thank you so very much for this very enlightening article. It seems almost as if it cannot be true. How can anyone take my child's confidential information without my consent, pass it along to whomever they deem appropriate and not even guarantee it's security against God only knows who. Is it not against the law for the school to allow access to my child's information without my knowledge! I would think that this information should be coming from our schools and not our local paper. Parents should be outraged, I know I am.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Report this
elovesme99

Thank you for sharing. I had passed this information along to one of my school board members as this 'tidbit' has been circulating on Facebook for a few weeks. It has been mostly publicly ignored in the media, with the focus being mostly on the State testing and the Opt Out Movement. I think this is a huge issue that parents, faculty and administrators are in the dark about. I appreciate your shedding light on it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Report this
kgdot2

The Centre Avenue PTA has been working hard to inform parents about inBloom and many other "reforms" that are having a profound impact on the current and future education of our children. A multipage information packet including letters to Commissioner King, the Governor, and representatives was distributed at last Monday's meeting. If you'd like a copy, please get in touch with the Centre Ave PTA through the school website. On June 8th there will be a rally in Albany demanding standardized test reform. Please attend school board and PTA meetings. As concerned voters and parents we have the power to put pressure on the politicians who are making these decisions. Thank you for writing this article, the press has been largely silent on these issues.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Report this
leoniehaimson

The good news is that four states (LA, GA, KY, DE) have recently announced they are pulling out of inBloom; the bad news is that NY is sharing confidential student data from the entire state’s public school population with inBloom, and as far as we know, has already sent much of this data into the inBloom cloud.

A bill has been introduced in the Legislature to try to stop inBloom and the unethical sharing of personal student data with vendors without parental consent. A.6059/S.4284 now has 59 co-sponsors in the Assembly and 20 in the Senate.

It’s especially important for Long Islanders to call Sen. Flanagan at (631) 361-2154 and Sen. Skelos at (516) 766-8383 and ask them to support the bill and hold hearings on it now.

Sunday, May 19, 2013 | Report this
artyone

"As a parent of two school-age children, I am beyond concerned. I am furious."

Hey Scott - what makes you think your children belong to you? Support public schools? Well...regardless of what crap they present your kids, you as "furious parent" have no choice but to shut up and like it. Otherwise men with guns will and enforce their will.

Getting worked up about the "potential" privacy vulnerabilities of a tech vendor who consolidates info from other tech vendors seems a little misplaced. If you're truly concerned about liberty as a citizen, start with the liberty to raise your own kids.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 | Report this
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