Friday, December 20, 2013

Silver says hold off on sharing student data

Posted By on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 10:46 AM

This can’t be an easy time for New York State Education Commissioner John King. The commissioner, who came into office not long ago with a bold reform agenda, is increasingly seeing those plans come under fire.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is the latest to question King. He sent a letter to the state Education Department recommending that the massive data collection program that is supposed to provide detailed information on all students to inBloom for analysis be suspended.

The company has received $100 million from the Gates Foundation to collect data that can be used to quickly provide districts with more accurate assessment tools. But parents from New York City to Buffalo are extremely concerned about who will have access to this personal information and how it will be used.

And with information frequently being stolen and systems hacked, parents put little faith in a company’s promises of safeguards.

Until recently, King has been able to sidestep criticism about the Common Core curriculum and the new teacher evaluations. But after months of failing to ease the concerns of many vocal parents and teachers, King, is dealing with growing resistance instead of less. The criticism extends to the SED and the Board of Regents, too.

Last week, State Senator John Flanagan issued an unflattering report based on his own findings. It recommended slowing down the implementation of the Common Core and reducing the number of tests students take. 

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