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Friday, October 24, 2014

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.

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