Thank you once again for the opportunity to speak during public testimony.
As an Argyle parent, I have spent countless hours researching, testifying in front of the Texas legislature and I have spoken to you many times over the last several years, warning about what is happening in education across our state and across the country.
Unfortunately, you continue to follow the lead of Dr. Wright and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA)’s “New Vision” for public education. (See Doc. here). Which is why I will NOT be supporting the Argyle ISD Bond. This is because I care about Argyle ISD having true local control and a board who will not implement TASA’s version of Education Reform 2.0. Because of my research, I clearly see the dangers ahead with the vision you are implementing.
A vision that came directly from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who put out this 23-page white paper of their vision. Working in coordination with other foundations and non-profit organizations and funding all sides of the education reform movement, this ed reform has been extremely successful. Whether it is the “school choice” folks like Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick or TASA and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB)’s, Districts of Innovation (DOI) education reform, the end goal is the same. Competency-based digital learning assessments and instruction. Which will be mandated as recommended by the Next Generation of Assessment and Accountability (See Doc here), which will in time replace the STAAR end of course state required exams.
Therefore, I ask that you consider the LOCAL policy change seen below in red, to mirror what the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) does during their public meetings.
BOARD MEETINGS PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Specific factual information or recitation of existing policy may be furnished in response to inquiries, but the Board shall not deliberate or decide regarding any subject that is not included on the agenda posted with notice of the meeting. The presiding officer shall allow the board, without debate, to request further clarification for informational purposes from a person testifying during public comments testimony.
Now that Education Reform 2.0, which you have the first 14 pages of a power point in your packet, is well underway. My question to you, especially those of you with younger children or grandchildren in the future, are you really okay with your children being used as guinea pigs? As private education data is being mined and used by technology companies to sort children into a career pathway. These pathways are directed, NOT by the passions of that child, but by an algorithm that was written by someone else.
Here is a short 4min. video by Alison Mcdowell who put the above power point together to explain.
A report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation came out on April 13th that you should be interested in. Spying on Students
“One-third of all K-12 students are using school-issued ed tech devices, the EFF finds. About half are Chromebooks, and more than 30 million total students, teachers, and administrators are using Google’s education suite of software. And parents are being largely left in the dark.
The EFF surveyed parents to see if the software was transparent about how it handled student privacy — and, in fact, if schools were being transparent with how they used software. In both cases, the answer was no.”
Lack of awareness, however, is not to be conflated with lack of interest. Parents who answered the survey expressed concerns about what data was being collected on their kids and where it was going but were unable to get answers.
So, while you are here in Argyle, falling in line with Education Reform, (NO REAL LOCAL CONTROL) there are many bills going through the legislative process that will have HUGE implications for our children and their future. Below are just a few of the most egregious.
But first, you need to understand, when you are told that our children’s private data is protected because of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), that is completely false information, whether it is intentional or not. As noted here:
FERPA was theoretically enacted in 1974 to protect the rights of parents and students under very specific situations that were known or understood at that time. (I would assert it actually defines the rights and preeminence of Federal agencies to oversee education matters and data with a small set of rights for parents under a few limited circumstances.) FERPA has been amended 9 times by Congress, and the primary enforcement mechanism is reduction or disqualification for funding directed at schools and states that fail to comply with FERPA regulations.
FERPA is a “Spending Clause” statute enacted under the authority of Congress in Art. I, § 8 of the U.S. Constitution to spend funds to provide for the general welfare. (“No funds shall be made available under any applicable program…” unless statutory requirements are met.) Therefore FERPA has no defined penalties for folks who willfully and/or negligently and repetitively violate it and FERPA and the US Department of Ed cannot prosecute. The only sanction available to them is to withhold federal funding if they so choose. This means any vendor that obtains personally identifiable data is largely immune to any repercussions or restrictions on its use or misuse. This is a matter of settled law and an opinion issued by USED.
Believe me, the technology company lobbyists are aware of this.
What this means is any vendor for any data system in any school district that has access to data can currently use that data however they want if their only restriction written into their contract is that they will comply with FERPA. FERPA does not restrict or target vendors, only schools, and school districts. State agencies are also largely excluded from many of the provisions of FERPA although references to them have been sprinkled in throughout the years. Most of the sanctions and wording it directed at local school districts, not state agencies who subsequently acquire the data.
The changes enacted by the US Department of Education over the last decade (plus) were not approved by Congress. The most recent and significant one I would like to direct you too occurred in 2011 and can viewed here along with a discussion of objections raised and DOEs responses to the objections.
Relating to instruction in positive character traits in public schools.
If you have Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)- Character Standards, then you will have the STATE collecting data and psychologically profiling our children. That psychological profile (data) will then follow that child from Pre-School thru the Workforce.
This was clearly set out by current Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Mike Morath during the Next Generation of Assessments and Accountability I have shared with you previously.
If you think I am not accurate in stating that the state is collecting data, please listen for yourself to Rep. Gary VanDeaver clearly state they are collecting “HUGE” amounts of student data in this video of testimony on HB 2087.
Relating to restricting the use of covered information, including student personally identifiable information, by an operator of a website, online service, online application, or mobile application for a school purpose.
This bill makes legal the collection and distribution of personalized information in the name of research WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT at a state level.
Who determines the legitimate research purpose? School purpose or postsecondary research purpose is broad. Is this an attempt to rope in the deregulation of student data privacy within FERPA? What about the proposed lift of the ban of a national student registry?
Currently, FERPA allows research on PII, as long as there is Institutional Research Board (IRB) approval. FERPA also allows for school official disclosure.
HB 2087 gives an exemption to test vendors to sell student data (they require parent consent to do so). It also has all the familiar exceptions and exemption for school use, website development, research, adaptive personalized learning, general audience etc. It is the weakened version of California’s SOPIPA bill–States are trying to use this industry-friendly bill as a template.
Relating to consideration of the mental health of public school students in school planning, educator training requirements, curriculum requirements, educational programs, state and regional programs and services, and health care services for students.
See how Price’s state legislation is connected to the federal legislation mentioned below by Anita Hoge.
FEDERAL HR 1510 was released that abolishes the Department of Education (DOE) and transfers DOE programs to other cabinet positions. Please notice that the biggest and most important will be transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Labor. Realize that most of the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) is health and mental health. Named psych services in ESSA are “carried out by IDEA.”
CARL PERKINS CAREER & TECH ED WILL BE SENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
Creating the “Medical Model”, established by transferring IDEA, all IES, Institute for Educational Sciences, jurisdiction to the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.
[Title I, direct student services (meaningful choice), per pupil expenditures (set up for CHOICE $$$ following the child), teacher VAM evaluations (fidelity), student data collection in state longitudinal data systems, evidence-based programs, and DC Opportunity Scholarship programs (the model for federal CHOICE where the money follows the child.]
Texas’ College and Career Ready (TEKS)/Common Core Standards fit like a hand in glove into this Medical Model.
Meaningful Choice listed under public school choice was written into ESSA as ‘direct student services”. These services were also defined as specialized support services provided by nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. or contracted out.
Any Choice child carries with him/her the psych direct student services carried out by IDEA mandated by ESSA into another school. This is why CHOICE is so dangerous. It’s a set-up for controlling all private and religious schools forcing Common Core non-academic psych services down their throats by an ombudsman.
As Anita Hoge stated, parents are NOT prepared to learn about MEDICAID in the schools. But ESSA is preparing every school for school-based health and mental health services. Your school and your child is being data-mized to start billing Medicaid for the social, emotional, and behavioral interventions of College and Career Ready Character and Behavioral Standards.
LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND THE STATE OF TEXAS HAVE NO BUSINESS PSYCHOLOGICALLY PROFILING TEXAS STUDENTS THROUGH THE COLLECTION OF PRIVATE DATA COLLECTED WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT!
Please take the time to educate yourself. You are possibly the last line of defense to not only protect Argyle students but to protect our school district and true local control.