Through a dizzying array of federal and federally funded state programs, the political class in Washington, D.C., is working to essentially eliminate any semblance of privacy — even to the point of targeting students’ values and beliefs. The plot appears to be unprecedented in scope, seeking to collect some 400 data points on each child.
Unsurprisingly, all of it is “intimately connected” to the Common Core nationalization of education, said the authors of the Pioneer Institute report, entitled “Cogs in the Machine: Big Data, Common Core, and National Testing.” All of the data collected through the federally funded national testing regime aligned with the controversial national standards, for example, will be made available to the U.S. Department of Education. However, as The New American magazine reported in August of last year in a major investigation, the Orwellian data-mining schemes associated with Common Core are also contributing to the growing uprising among parents against the entire plot.
“These expansive data structures are intimately connected to Common Core, in several ways,” the new report explains. “Not only will the data sent to the [federally funded Common Core-aligned] assessment consortia be made available to the federal government, but the national standards create a unified ‘taxonomy’ that facilitates common instructional materials and technology for data-collection. Moreover, because Common Core focuses not on academic knowledge but rather on ‘skills’ that involve attitudes and dispositions, it paves the way for assessments and digital platforms that measure such attributes.”
The 92-page report, published by the non-partisan Pioneer Institute, also highlights a number of radical developments that would almost certainly shock American parents to the core — if only they knew of it. The Obama administration’s voracious appetite for the most sensitive data on American children, for example, is illustrated well in a report published last year by the U.S. Department of Education entitled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance.” The government authors of that document expressed strong interest in monitoring U.S. students’ “beliefs, attitudes, dispositions, values and ways of perceiving oneself.” The Education Department report also calls for measuring non-cognitive attributes such as “psychological resources.”
If that was not chilling enough on its own, consider some of the tools outlined in the report explaining how it will all be collected. One of the schemes, for instance, involves researchers using “functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and physiological indicators [that] offer insight into the biology and neuroscience underlying observed student behaviors.” As The New American has previously reported, the administration’s deeply controversial report also envisions hooking students up to cameras that can record “facial expressions,” as well as “skin sensors” that would monitor students’ physiological reactions. Some of that technology is already in use as part of various federally funded education programs, the Education Department report explains, even offering pictures.
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