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Wed Mar 20, 2013, 04:33 PM

EPIC sues Dept of Ed for violating students' privacy rights. Database owned by Rupert Murdoch. [View all]

Last edited Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:39 PM - Edit history (1)

This is the department run by Arne Duncan, President Obama's appointment as Secretary of Education. They just gave 12.5 million to a company owned by Murdoch which has formed a database to share students' private information with other companies.

This is all being done without the knowledge or permission of parents.

Lawsuit charges Ed Department with violating student privacy rights

The U.S. Education Department is being sued by a nonprofit organization for promoting regulations that are alleged to undercut student privacy and parental consent. The rules allow third parties, including private companies and foundations promoting school reform, to get access to private student information.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center has been fighting for the department over 2011 regulations involving the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as FERPA, a law that is supposed to protect the privacy of student education records at all schools that receive federal education funds. FERPA was passed to give parents specific rights in regard to their children’s education records, rights which transfer to the student he/she becomes 18 or goes to a school beyond the high school level.

But in 2011, regulations issued by the department changed FERPA to allow the release to third parties of student information for non-academic purposes.
The rules also broaden the exceptions under which schools can release student records to non-governmental organizations without first obtaining written consent from parents. And they promote the public use of student IDs that enable access to private educational records, according to EPIC, a nonprofit public-interest center based in Washington D.C.


The database has files of students from at least seven states that have agreed to participate so far and is allowing access to third parties. According to Simon, the infrastructure for the database was built by the for-profit Amplify Education, which is run by school reformer Joel Klein and owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Gates foundation financially contributed to the cost of the database.

Here is more about the should-be-disgraced Rupert Murdoch, and the money he received from our Department of Education...which gives him power as an education reformer.

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp get 12.5 mil contract from Ed Dept for more testing. Shameful.

One of the two consortia developing tests for the Common Core State Standards has awarded a $12.5 million contract to Amplify Insight to develop a digital library of formative assessment professional learning tools for educators.

Amplify Insight is a division of Amplify, an ed-tech company whose chief executive officer is Joel Klein, the former New York City schools chancellor. Amplify is the education arm of the media conglomerate News Corp., led by Rupert Murdoch. Last week, Amplify received a blast of media attention when it unveiled a new tablet device, loaded with classroom management tools and interactive lessons, at the South by Southwest education gathering.

This will be the second contract awarded to Amplify Insight by Smarter Balanced, with the first one being granted last year to what was then Wireless Generation, in partnership with ETS, to develop software to report and analyze results from the assessments.

More about the database:

K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents

In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school - even homework completion.

Local education officials retain legal control over their students' information. But federal law allows them to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services.

Entrepreneurs can't wait.

"This is going to be a huge win for us," said Jeffrey Olen, a product manager at CompassLearning, which sells education software.

"Entrepreneurs can't wait." Of course not. It turns students into even greater profit for businesses.

The reformers with Arne at the lead are turning public education into enterprises that bring profit financially. There is nothing in it for the children.

And one more thing. The parents may be shocked and alarmed and may disagree about having childrens' private stuff shared for profit.

But guess what! No one cares what they think. No one cares what the teachers think, what the parents think, what the students think. It is not something that bothers the minds of the billionaire reformers at all.

The powers that be ignored the protests during the run-up to the Iraq invasion. They simply tuned us out.

The powers that be are ignoring us when we fight back against cuts to the safety nets like Social Security and Medicare.

And they are paying no attention to the public school advocates. None at all.

It's what happens when both parties have the same agenda, when partisanship disappears.

They don't need to worry about what the people think because they realize there is nowhere else to turn.

Good for EPIC, I wish them luck. I hope they get some attention called to this outrageous attack on privacy.

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Reply EPIC sues Dept of Ed for violating students' privacy rights. Database owned by Rupert Murdoch. [View all]
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