Common Core FAQ’s Part 10

Common Core FAQ's Part 10

Common Core FAQ’s Part 10

Question 10: Does the Common Core include a national database?

Answer: All 50 states have had statewide longitudinal databases in place to track their students’ scores on assessments for the past decade. Yet the authors of the Common Core are clear: The success of the standards hinges on the increased collection of student data—including demographics and postsecondary education performance—from preschool through the workforce.16 States that have adopted the Common Core to receive race to the Top funding and states that are members of the assessment consortia have committed to expanding their data collection.

Additionally, in 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor announced $12 million in grants for states to build longitudinal databases linking workforce and education data.17 And in 2013, the Department of Education unilaterally altered the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) so that any government or private entity that the department says is evaluating an education program has access to students’ personally identifiable information without parental notification.

The new data systems are not confined to public school students. FERPA does not currently protect homeschooling families in states where families must submit documentation of intent to homeschool.18

Massive new databases are already being built. In 2012, the Gates Foundation used $17 million to launch in Bloom, a company that has built a $100 million database to track students from kindergarten through college.19 The databases identify students by name, address, and sometimes Social Security number. Combined with the changes to FERPA, the implementation of the Common Core is unleashing what is arguably the most comprehensive tracking of citizens that America has ever seen.

16. Grossman, Reyna and Shipton, Realizing the Potential, 10; “Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems,” U.S. Department of Education, accessed June 11, 2013, http://www2.ed.gov/programs/slds/factsheet.html.

17. Jason Kuruvilla, “U.S. Department of Labor Announces More than $12 Million in Grants Available to States to Improve Workforce Data Quality.” United States Department of Labor, February 12, 2012, accessed June 11, 2013, http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/eta20120352.ht.

18. “Family Educational Records Privacy Extension Act.” HSLDA, accessed June 11, 2013, http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/National/2011/HR2910/default.asp.

19. “Awarded Grants.” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation accessed June 11, 2013, http://www.gatesfouncation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=inbloom.

 

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