And then they came for the Homeschoolers
Periodically we get an email asking how Common Core is going to affect homeschoolers. Up till now we’ve only been able to point out things like how the ACT test is being aligned with Common Core, thus signaling that everyone (including homeschoolers) will need to teach to Common Core standards in order to pass a major college entrance exam.
Now, however, the tie-ins are getting more direct.
When Utah signed onto the Race to the Top grant, we also agreed to adopt a P20 database tracking system to do in-depth tracking of our children. Utah selected and announced its partner early this year and called it, significantly, the P20w database. This database is meant to track children from preschool through college and into the workforce.
The objective is the old school-to-work agenda which was run out of town when it surfaced in the past. It’s simply central planning for society through identifying, labeling, and steering children in certain directions. And now we can see the plan is to bring homeschoolers into the tracking system.
The good folks that run the ROPE (Restore Oklahoma Public Education) group have found a presentation online that was from the 2011 CCSSO National Conference. CCSSO is the Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization, which is the partner organization with the National Governor’s Association which claim to have developed Common Core together. The group doing this presentation is HumRRO (Human Resources Research Organization).
In this presentation, they now admit that they want to bring homeschoolers into this database, I’m sure for research purposes, of course…
Their presentation is here and slide 35 specifically mentions homeschoolers.
Recommendations from the P-20 Data Coordinating Council
Further recommendations for the P-20 Data System:
- Incorporate teacher preparation attributes (e.g.,certification type, school of origin) into the data system.
- Incorporate analysis and business management tools into the system
- Implement greater interactive reporting capabilities to respond to a range of stakeholders.
- Include student groups not now included (e.g.,home-schooled) in the data system
- Complete basic policies such as data use/access protocols, data quality standards and governance
It’s not hard to understand that once you have data, you want to have ways to slice and dice it, and do further analysis. They are definitely headed in this direction. The more information which they may find fascinating about your children, the more this database will expand because it will have everything on children from around the nation.
Just this one slide above opens up new questions about who the “range of stakeholders” will be? What greater capabilities does this need? When will private schoolers be brought into the database through force of government?
The excellent documentation gathered by ROPE on privacy issues can be read here.
Pages 8 & 9 of their document show some of the data points that are to be gathered on children including birthmark, blood type, dental prosthetics, weight, weight at birth, and voting status. These screenshots show what the site used to display, but it has been whitewashed now to not display these factors. A while back I reported on this database intrusion showing they also had tracking factors such as what time your child gets on the bus, compulsory attendance status, religious consideration, and the number of decayed teeth your child has.
How is workforce defined? From the Illinois Data System design document it says:
The term workforce is defined as consisting of the workers engaged in a specific activity, business or industry or the number of workers who are available to be assigned to any purpose as in a nation’s workforce.
The public workforce system is a network of federal, state, and local offices that function to support economic expansion and facilitate the development United States workforce. The system is designed to create partnership with employers, educators, and community leaders in order to foster economic development and high-growth opportunities in regional economies so that businesses find qualified workers to meet their present and future workforce needs. (Emphasis added)
I think Homeschoolers should be lobbying state legislators to offer them some protections from any intrusion into tracking anything about what their children are learning. For that matter, I think it would be a good thing to back out of the P20w database tracking altogether. Why incur the expenses of tracking our children in this way when we didn’t get any federal funds anyway? Our children are tracked plenty at the local level. There’s no need to participate in a system that facilitates national collection of our children’s personally identifiable information.