Saturday, June 21, 2014

#CanISee: Jane Robbins -- Data Mining YOUR Child


"He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[a] the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."
Revelation 13:15-18

This morning we heard Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project discuss the data collection under Common Core.  Data collection/mining is a major aspect of Common Core that is frequently overlooked.  Robbins made a compelling case for why this is a mistake.

According to Robbins, common core has never been about education, it's about workforce development.  In other words, the purpose of common core isn't to equip children to lead productive lives as they see fit, it's designed to empower the central-planners running the system to make decisions for them.  For those central-planners to be able to make 'accurate' decisions, they need to collect reams of data on your child.

Robbins detailed numerous data points that will be collected under common core.  While none were good, the worst that stood out include: Family income, source of income, parent communication method, Baptism certificate (SERIOUSLY!!!), and parental voting habits.  No potential for abuse there.

One thing we learned from Robbins' presentation is that it's illegal for the Feds to build a national student data base.  To sidestep that obstacle, the Feds bribed the states to set up identical databases that can interact with each other seamlessly; the gift that was Race to the Top keeps giving.  They also launder a lot of bad stuff through semi-private partners.

Another concern Robbins raised was "digital learning."  "Digital learning," used in a common core setting, has nothing to do with how students access text.  It's about leveraging technology to build a psychological profile of your child.  Robbins told the crowd about the amount of data that can be collected simply by touching a computer screen.  Fingerprints are just the beginning.

One final service Robbins provided was to identify several educational buzzwords that sensible people should avoid.  They include anything with the phrase "21st century," "rigor" (which, in this context means ambiguous), "Critical thinking" (Overcoming "egocentrism), "deeper learning", "transform", and "seamless."  According to Robbins, if you hear those phrases "hide the silverware."

Techno-progressives aren't interested in what students know, they're interested in how they think.  To discover how students think, these central planners need to collect reams of data.  Nothing is off limits.

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