As I noted in last week’s column, the national Common Core student database was funded with Obama stimulus money. Grants also came from the liberal Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which largely underwrote and promoted the top-down Common Core curricular scheme). A division of the conservative Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. built the database infrastructure. A nonprofit startup, “inBloom, Inc.,” evolved out of this strange-bedfellows partnership to operate the invasive database, which is compiling everything from health-care histories, income information, and religious affiliations to voting status, blood types, and homework completion.
And it gets worse. Research fellow Joy Pullmann at the Heartland Institute points to a February Department of Education report on its data-mining plans that contemplates the use of creepy student-monitoring techniques such as “functional magnetic resonance imaging” and “using cameras to judge facial expressions, an electronic seat that judges posture, a pressure-sensitive computer mouse and a biometric wrap on kids’ wrists.”
The DOE report exposes the big lie that Common Core is about raising academic standards. The report instead reveals Common Core’s progressive designs to measure and track children’s “competencies” in “recognizing bias in sources,” “flexibility,” “cultural awareness and competence,” “appreciation for diversity,” “empathy,” “perspective taking, trust, [and] service orientation.”
That’s right. School districts and state governments are pimping out highly personal data on children’s feelings, beliefs, “biases,” and “flexibility” instead of doing their own jobs of imparting knowledge — and minding their own business. And yes, Republicans such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush continue to falsely defend the centralized Common Core regime as locally driven and non-coercive, while ignoring the database system’s circumvention of federal student-privacy laws.
Why? Edu-tech nosybodies are using the Common Core assessment boondoggle as a Trojan horse to collect and crunch massive amounts of personal student data for their own social-justice or moneymaking ends. Reminder: Nine states have entered into contracts with inBloom: Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina. Countless other vendors are salivating at the business possibilities in exploiting public-school students.