As many local school districts are struggling to pay their teachers, purchase textbooks, or fund other classroom needs, parents and taxpayers may be interested in knowing that they might be employing a highly paid “specialist” to comply with federal data mining mandates of our nation’s public school children.
The headlines in Fayette County, Georgia tell of a newly created position by their Board of Education: RTI and PBIS (Response to Intervention and Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) Specialist.
A quick search on the Internet and you will find that this is a popular staffing position in many school districts.
If you don’t have a clue as to what PBIS is all about, you are not alone. While the stated purpose is to “Help schools design effective environments that increase teaching and learning for all students.” It would appear that much of the purpose of this little-publicized program is data mining our students and sharing the information with the federal government. Most parents aren’t aware their students take part in “nosey” surveys and they more than likely never gave their permission to have their child questioned on private and confidential matters that one could say infringes on the student’s Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate themselves.
Questions on the survey include student use of illegal substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs; suicide consideration and attempts; gang membership; skipping school; bullying (receiving and giving); and bringing weapons to school. Other questions relate to home activities and personal life while others questions ask the student to rate their teacher’s performance in the classroom. ALL information that is personally identifiable to the student via student ID numbers which are linked to their names and social security numbers.
Teachers are just in the dark as parents are about the line of questioning. They are just following “orders” when a request comes to send a few students out of the classroom to take a survey. Most often these surveys are taken on a computer keeping the content of the questions away from prying adult eyes.
While many across the nation have become aware of the massive data collecting associated with the Common Core State Standards Initiative, what is not discussed is that these nosey surveys collecting data and sharing with the federal government have been going on for decades. What should concern all of us is that as part of Race to the Top, and elsewhere in the 2009 Stimulus bill, along with agreeing to adopt the Common Core standards, the states that wanted federal money had to commit to build massive student databases. These databases are designed to track children from preschool (or earlier), through college, and into the workforce. At this time, all the states who made this agreement also agreed to move all the student (and teacher) data to Google servers for storage. Anyone following the news on the national data collecting by the NSA knows that our federal government has access to all data stored on these servers, including our student’s information.
In fact, SB 167, Georgia’s 2013/2014 Common Core “withdrawal legislation” had 10 pages addressing “privacy” issues affirming that data mining of private information on our students would continue in Georgia as long as we continue to take education grants from the federal government which almost always require data reporting. A quick check of any state which is pursuing the same legislation will probably find very similar language.
I urge parents to ask questions about this program and other “health” surveys their schools implement to satisfy federal grant programs. However, consider that the best way to protect your child’s private information from the federal government and other private educational entities that are contracted with your state is to remove your students from the government schools and home school or send them to private Christian schools where no tax dollars are accepted which will tie them to the same mandates of data collecting. Learn more about data mining our children at OperationJerichoProject.com.