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States Making Swift Progress on Lifelong Tracking of Your Kids

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States Making Swift Progress on Lifelong Tracking of Your Kids

We were warned it was coming and, Boom!, it’s now here, lifelong tracking of your kids, courtesy of a whole bunch of stimulus money (thank you, federal nanny!). Attention – there will be no secrets!

In Education Week’s States Making Swift Progress on Student-Data Systems, Report Finds” by Sarah D. Sparks, we learn that “The Data Quality Campaign, a Washington-based nonprofit group that promotes and tracks the use of education data in policymaking” has just released its sixth annual report regarding lifelong tracking.

All states and the District of Columbia, it says, have put into place four of the 10 elements: a unique student-identification code that links information from various agencies through the years; student-level data on enrollment, demographics, and participation in specific programs; the ability to match student test data from one year to the next to calculate growth in achievement; and the ability to track individual students who graduate or drop out of school each year.

In addition, nearly all states now have auditing systems to determine the accuracy and validity of the data and information on the number of students not included in state assessments.

Idaho made the most progress of any state in the past year, moving from a data system that met only three of the campaign’s essential elements to one that met all 10.

“We recognized we were one of the states that were far back in the pack and not making any significant progress for a number of years,” said Tom Luna, Idaho’s superintendent of public instruction. He won support for a $2.5 million state data initiative, which along with a $6 million federal longitudinal-data-system grant financed the fast-track development of the data system.

Notice the amount of money this all costs, taken out of your pocket to track, not just government-schooled kids, but also “nearly all states now have auditing systems to determine the accuracy and validity of the data and information on the number of students not included in state assessments.” Oh, good, they’re going to track homeschoolers, too!

Lifelong Tracking Means Lifelong Tracking

EyeballinComputer lifelong tracking

"Nearly all states now have auditing systems to determine the accuracy and validity of the data and information on the number of students not included in state assessments."

These folks aren’t playing games. Have you heard the term “cradle to grave” under the government thumb? This is gonna make their job soooo much easier! If everything above hasn’t made you start wondering how to get your kids out this system, perhaps the following quote from the article will.

The report says nearly half the states now have systems that meet what the campaign deems the 10 critical elements for collecting longitudinal data on individual students and teachers from kindergarten through college and career.

Ah, yes, the “campaign” that “promotes and tracks the use of education data in policymaking,” as if multi-million dollar data is somehow going to make all children geniuses, isn’t going to let loose of the kids even after they’re out of the government school – they’re going to follow through college – and then job.

But wait! There’s more!

“States were looking at these 10 elements as a checklist and saying, ‘OK, we can collect these 10 things; we’re done,’ ” Ms. Guidera [executive director of the Data Quality Campaign] said. “We’re saying, ‘No, you’re just beginning to be able to tap in and leverage the investments you’ve made…’ ”

“The real power of these data systems doesn’t come from collecting the data,” Ms. Guidera said. “The real power comes from every stakeholder having appropriate access to the data to be analyzed and used, and that is much harder than building a system of infrastructure.”

Are you wondering who “every stakeholder” is who will have access to the data? Me, too. We’re not told in the article.

If you homeschool your child from the beginning, you have half a chance of keeping your child out of the tracking. If you can stomach it, I suggest you read the entire article on lifelong tracking of your kids, then ask yourself how much you’re willing to tolerate in exchange for government schooling.



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2 Responses to “States Making Swift Progress on Lifelong Tracking of Your Kids”

  1. […] If you want to get really freaked out, and I mean REALLY FREAKED OUT, read about how this is all just the beginning of a life long tracking plan. […]

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