Pamela Smith is a homeschooling mom living in Utah as well as a founder of Principles of Freedom Forum, She has recently produced a video detailing more information about the collection and sharing of students' private information that accompanies Common Core and the race for funding by the nations's schools. Like Colorado, which in February struck down a bill that would delay for a year the implementation of Common Core standards and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), Utah is also moving toward more federal control of education and more sharing of student information.
The fifteen-minute video begins with a clip of Education Secretary Arne Duncan stating in an interview that he feels that schools should be open more hours each day and more days of the week. He says that optimally children should be spending between 12 - 14 hours per day for 6 - 7 days each week in school, because when school becomes the center of the community, "great things happen", Mr. Duncan has two school-aged children. One cannot help but wonder whether or not he likes having them around, because if this schedule ever became implemented, he would hardly ever see them.
Another brief clip features Melissa Harris-Perry,a political commentator for MSNBC. She states that we have to get over the notion that children belong to their parents and family and are the parents' responsibility. Instead, she feels that children belong to the community and once we realize that, we "start making better investments".
The rest of the video covers the student data collection and sharing processes that are moving forward in Utah under new laws there and nationally .Since funding hinges on data, school feel compelled to participate. Ms. Smith details how the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) has been changed to allow for more and more student information to be shared without parental consent.
Ms. Smith asks two important questions. First of all, what kind of government wants to inventory its people? Secondly, why does all this data need to be collected and shared.? Mr. Duncan hopes for the day that a student can be tracked from preschool through school and on to career. Local control of education and student privacy are set to become things of the past, unless enough people resist.