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+ - All Your Child's Data Are Belong to inBloom 3

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Q. What do you get when Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch put their heads together? A. inBloom (aka SLC), the Gates Foundation-bankrolled and News Corp. subsidiary-implemented collaboration whose stated mission is to "inform and involve each student and teacher with data and tools designed to personalize learning." It's noble enough sounding, but as the NY Times reports, the devil is in the details when it comes to deciding who sees students' academic and behavioral data. inBloom execs maintain their service has been unfairly maligned, saying it is entirely up to school districts or states to decide which details about students to store in the system and with whom to share them. However, a video on inBloom's Web site suggesting what this techno-utopia might look like may give readers of 1984 some pause. In one scene, a teacher with a tablet crouches next to a second-grader evaluating how many words per minute he can read: 55 words read; 43 correctly. Later, she moves to a student named Tyler and selects an e-book 'for at-risk students' for his further reading. The video follows Tyler home, where his mom logs into a parent portal for an update on his status — attendance, 86%; performance, 72% — and taps a button to send the e-book to play on the family TV. And another scene shows a geometry teacher reassigning students’ seating assignments based on their 'character strengths', moving a green-coded female student ('actively participates: 98%') next to a red-and-yellow coded boy ('shows enthusiasm: 67%'). The NYT also mentions a parent's concern that school officials hoping to receive hefty Gates Foundation Grants may not think an agreement with the Gates-backed inBloom completely through."
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All Your Child's Data Are Belong to inBloom

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  • "entirely up to school districts or states to decide which details about students to store in the system and with whom to share them"

    Where are the desires of the parents and students in this equation? If I'm a parent I would demand the ability to opt my child out of this. .

    • by theodp (442580)

      The article notes that the school district has decided to allow opt-out after outcry from parents, but that the law doesn't require it. From the article:

      "Recent changes in the regulation of a federal education privacy law have also helped the industry. That law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, required schools to obtain parental permission before sharing information in their childrenâ(TM)s educational records. The updated rules permit schools to share student data, without notifying pare

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