Dept. of Education: Collecting Our Children’s Personal Info

baby_barcode“Worst case scenario, what are you afraid of?” asked Missouri House Representative Margo McNeill, Democrat member of the House Elementary and secondary Education Committee on Monday.

McNeill’s question came during the during a hearing of SB 210 that would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to hold public meetings in each congressional district on the Common Core State Standards.

“Common Core Standards” is a federally fund-baited set of national academic standards, which also requires the states to implement thorough personal data reporting on children- ages P-20. The “P” stands for prenatal, not preschool.

For an answer to McNeill’s question, we need only look at the scandal surrounding the IRS targeting conservative groups.

Yesterday we awoke to reports that the Internal Revenue Service is facing a class action lawsuit with allegations of improperly seizing 60 million personal medical records.

“Representative McNeill’s comment exposes a belief by the left that the government has a right to collect data on our children,” says Anne Gassel, co-founder of Missouri Coalition Against Common Core. “They may have a desire, but no such right exists. The data could just as easily be used to hurt our children as help.  No government of today can guarantee how the government of tomorrow is going to use that data.”

Like Gassel, I question why the government needs to collect student information such as religion, family income, medical records, and nationality. Not only is collecting this information in direct conflict with anti-discrimination laws, but has little to do with actually educating children.

Two plus two is still four whether you are Buddhist or Christian.

And fluctuating family income has little to do with student learning as a child’s IQ does not go up when daddy gets a raise.

Add to the debate that Common Core Standards do not increase academic expectations from the failed fed-led education attempt we know as No Child Left Behind; Instead, Common Core actually lowers the standards.

For example, Algebra will no longer be introduced to able middle-schoolers, but postponed until high school, when–according to these common government standards– all children should be ready for that level math.

The rigor of Common Core Standards, it seems, lie squarely in gathering information on children, beginning in the mother’s womb.

Like many of the 46 states that have adopted Common Core Standards as state law, Missouri politicians have failed to disclose what the 61 data points are that they will be collecting from students, the purpose of such exercise, which entity shall be entrusted with the information, and most importantly- how student’s personal information will be protected.

May 2013 marks the ending of a legislative session where citizens across the country are not only being disarmed of their guns, but their privacy and identities as well.

So what is the worst-case scenario about the government holding our children’s personal information?

Well, that’s a brilliant question Representative McNeal. And “we the people” don’t care to find out by gambling the chances of permitting government intrusion into our children’s personal records that may be abused by political offices that don’t even have the sense to see the danger in such act.

Karin Piper

Colorado PolitiChick Karin Piper is an award winning author and transparency expert specializing in education and union transparency. She provides policy tools necessary for parents, union memberis, teachers and decision makers to become informed consumers in the educational marketplace. She also serves as executive director of, an organization she helped found, and works with various other non-partisan likeminded organizations. Karin was a finalist for OGI's 2012 Burke-Carr Public Interest Awards and nominated as candidate for Charter School Friend of the Year in 2009. Her knowledge of state and federal open records laws and tireless advocacy for open union negotiations has been featured by major media outlets across the nation. Her debut book, CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Ultimate Handbook for Parents, was awarded a 2009 finalist in best books for parenting and education, by USA Book News and appeared in bookstores around the world. Born and raised in Sweden, she lives in Douglas County, Colorado, the epicenter of education reform. Karin is a frequently sought as a parental voice and expert opinion in response to much of today's political edu-rhetoric and legislation proposals. She has been interviewed by many news outlets, including CBS, NBC, KNUS, EdNews, Denver Post, Los Angeles Times, and many others.

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