1. Nate M

    Perhaps our education system has failed. If it has, it’s not because students aren’t passing tests, or because they’re dropping out, or because they’re not “college and career ready,” but because so-called “educated” people, en masse, have given away their minds to the technocratic powers of our time.

    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” ― Noam Chomsky, /The Common Good/

    The conversation is manufactured. It’s amazing. We no longer trust ourselves. We no longer trust our neighbors, our community members. Somehow, even if we know our child’s teachers to be wonderful, we don’t trust teachers in general. We hold a negative opinion of the entire profession we haven’t met, even though the direct evidence we have is to the contrary. That’s scary.

    I don’t see this changing any time soon, do you? I don’t see the critical mass needed. There isn’t enough pain yet for most people to care. I don’t know, I think about these things often.

    “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” ― E.B. White

    • Paul Bogush

      There is not enough pain because there is enough money to sedate people before inflicting the pain (http://goo.gl/QNUma).

      I do wonder if getting news from the internet sedates people. When everyone received a newspaper you had to read about stuff that you might not like, no way of avoiding it. If you were going to spend 20 minutes with breakfast reading paper, you read everything. Now you can easily click off of anything that does not make you feel safe.

      You eb white quote is spot on…most people choose fun. The worse off people are, more likely to choose fun?

      Neat study taht showed when times are tough people chose easiest music to listen to. Bad times = simple pop music. Better economy is the more complicated the music is.

      • Nate M

        Just did more research on how this is going down in my state…at what point do I get told that I’ve been living in the Matrix?

        All of this information gathering and slight of hand stuff is feeling awfully Orwellian, but your point about information sedation is much more like something from Huxley. It’s the perfect dystopian storm!

  2. Robin Johnson

    Hi Paul,

    This was a response from Naviance regarding their Privacy Policy. Thoughts?

    I can assure you that Hobsons does not sell any data about students to companies. Our terms of service and our privacy policy have both been vetted by some of the largest school districts in the U.S., including Fairfax County Public Schools, Houston Independent School District and San Diego Unified School District. Privacy and students’ data is something we take very seriously.

    • paul bogush

      Correct…they do not sell. Sell being the key word.

      My oil company does not sell my data. My oil company bought a security firm. They gave my data to the security firm. The security firm wanted to develop a marketing plan, they gave my data to an advertising agency to use in the development of the plan…The advertising agency decided to pool my local data with national data so that an international companies moving into America could design a products to “meet” my needs. At no point was my data sold.

      There are third party companies that Naviance uses. Any data shared with them does not fall under Naviance’s privacy policy.

      You have to go so far down the rabbit hole to discover the truth….

  3. Robin Johnson

    My thoughts exactly. I am currently in discussion with the school guidance counselor about opting my child out of using it. The option she gave is to have him write it down on paper rather than use the computer. They will then “file” it away.

    So, not only are they making him to share private information but now he will stand out from his peers to do this on paper? (oh boy)

  4. Andy

    I live in the US Virgin Islands and found this blog entry after reading a local online news story about a new grant that the territory’s Dept. of Ed. had received to improve data collection on students. Story here:
    As I read the story, my jaw hit the ground. An education administration official was bragging that “the system gives the government the ability to assign each child in the territory a unique ID at birth that will follow through their lives.” That alone was a huge red flag. Then I read the governor of the territory’s assessment: that the data collection program “will allow us to track a child from birth through higher education, and even into the workforce.”

    I could not believe that this was being touted as a favorable program. Then I began to wonder about the “Institute of Education Sciences” that was funding this. What kind of private organization would support this? Lo and behold, it’s not private — it’s an “arm” of the U.S. Department of Education. My next thought was, if they are doing this here, they are doing this in all the states. Sure enough, that’s what I’ve found. And that’s got me digging deeper and caused me to find this blog entry.

    Now since you’ve written your blog entry, it has come to light that the IRS was taking partisan advantage of information it had collected that was subject to strict privacy controls. But, no worries when it comes to the IES, because, just like the IRS, “by law our activities must be free of partisan political influence.” http://ies.ed.gov/aboutus/

    That we are creating a national id system and using it to collect individual data on every student in the country is astonishing. That this is flying under the radar with limited public awareness is astounding.

    A point you may not have considered. The US Census gathers individual data but by law is not permitted to release data on a level that might lead to revelation of individual information. This program has no such controls that I can see. According to an IES publication on this program,
    http://ies.ed.gov/funding/pdf/2012_84372.pdf , the “unique statewide student identifier” will “not permit a student to be individually identified by users of the system (except as allowed by Federal and State law)” (Page 2 of the pdf).

    That is so reassuring — only if allowed by federal or state law.

    This program makes me want to quit my job and dedicate the rest of my life to getting this program abolished and having all data collected by it scrubbed of individual information (if not simply erased).

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