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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Common Core foes unimpressed by commissioner's pledge to protect data



A promise by 35 state education commissioners including Florida's to keep identifiable student data out of the federal government's hands has received poor marks from several anti-Common Core organizations.

The groups, which have contended that new testing associated with the standards would mine student personal data for nefarious ends, issued a statement Thursday saying they weren't reassured by the state chiefs' reassurances.

"The letter is deceptive," Karen Effrem, co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, said in a release. "The states may not give the individual student test data to the federal government, but the cooperative agreement and the federal FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations require or allow the consortia to give individual test and other student data to the feds without consent."

Twenty-four state anti-Core organizations, and seven national groups including the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and the Badass Teachers Association, have signed on to Effrem's response to the recent pledge. They pointedly referred to some of Florida's recent moves, such as offering a handful of standard changes and then calling the Common Core "Florida standards," as a ploy rather than a solution to their concerns.

"The only way to truly protect our children’s data is to restore local control of education that has been usurped by the unconstitutional presence and actions of the U.S. Department of Education," the groups stated. "Until that ultimate goal is reached, we will work to remove each of our states from the state longitudinal data systems and demand genuine state developed standards and assessments, instead of name changes, cosmetic adjustments to the Common Core standards, and deceptive reassurances about state control of test data."

[Last modified: Thursday, January 30, 2014 8:52am]


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