Save a copy of this one. This paper received its funding from …SURPRISE… the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Titled “Framework for a Multistate Human Capital Development Data System,” this paper outlines the population tracking of people in America. Here’s a few salient quotes.
The rise of a globalized knowledge economy requires us to understand the distribution of skills and abilities in our population.
This “human capital development data system” must be developed to answer “master” policy questions that benefit each of the principal state stakeholders – the K-12 education system, the postsecondary system, and labor/workforce development system – both for accountability purposes and to inform improvements in policy and practice.
A more effective data system for accountability and policy and practice improvements could provide answers to such questions. Integrated to enable large-scale longitudinal analyses to support state educational and workforce development policy, student or individual unit-record data, linked together across K-12 education, postsecondary education, and the workforce, comprise what we call a human capital development data system (HCDDS). An HCDDS should be able capable of:
• Tracking the stock and flow of the skills and abilities (represented by education and training) of various populations within a given state.
• Examining the gaps in educational attainment between population groups, based on demography and socio-economic status.
• Incorporating information from multiple states, given the mobility of the U.S. population and the fact that many population centers are located on state boundaries.
We are all cattle now.
Given the sensitivity of SSNs and the fact that even they cannot match all individual student records “perfectly,” it is probably wise for states to adopt a broader approach to “identity matching.” Such an approach would link records using a larger group of variables corresponding to student characteristics, including but not limited to the SSN (when available) or statewide student identifier.
Use of Social Security Numbers would pin all tracking data to an individual instead of aggregating it and protecting children’s privacy.
While there is still much work to be done in linking K-12 and postsecondary records, states also should be planning now for how to incorporate workforce data into their longitudinal data systems. Indeed, the federal government has made this a basic expectation for states receiving ARRA funds.
When Utah applied for federal money under Race to the Top and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), the feds required us to sign onto a database to track students from preschool through college and into the workforce. Just a year ago the Utah State Office of Education announced their partner in a P20w statewide longitudinal database system that can integrate with other states and federal agencies. <sarcasm>All for research purposes of course.</sarcasm>
Some years ago, Outcome Based Education was shot down by parents when they awoke to what was really going on…the tracking of children and “master” planning for society based on creating good little trained monkeys for the workplace. Children are people. We need to stop treating them like widgets being stamped out at a factory.
Concerned yet? Share this with your legislators and ask them to get us out of Common Core and the Statewide Longitudinal Database System. IT’S NOT GOING TO BE USED JUST FOR RESEARCH. Share fliers with your neighbors. It’s time for an overhaul of our education system that brings it all in-state and gets us off the federal dollars.