Education-Industrial Complex Continues Assault on Student Privacy

Government and education technology entities are moving ahead with efforts to collect more and more sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) on America’s children and their families. Here is an update on some of those efforts: Weakening of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) According to excellent reporting by Cheri Kiesicker at Missouri Education Watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering removing the parental consent requirement for school technology use. She explains why this is a terrible idea: The FTC is considering several changes, including removing parent consent for edtech. See here (Section E. Question 23 covers the edtech

U.S. Student Test Scores Plummet Again in Year 4 of Common Core

If there was any doubt that the Common Core standards have been harmful to American academic achievement, that doubt should be erased by the 2019 results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Nation’s Report Card. NAEP results have been stagnant or declining since the full implementation of the standards was mandated in 2015. As stated by Joy Pullman at The Federalist: For the third time in a row since Common Core was fully phased in nationwide, U.S. student test scores on the nation’s broadest and most respected test have dropped, a reversal of an upward trend between 1990 and

Congress to Reconsider Massive College Student Data Grab

As Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the powerful chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, approaches retirement in 2020, he and Congress are making one last push to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). This legislation has been in a stalemate for the last five years. This means that the odious College Transparency Act (CTA – S800/HR1766) that we at The National Pulse, Joy Pullman at The Federalist, The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, and many others have warned about over the last few years is making a comeback. Alexander said as much in his Senate floor

How “Red Flag Laws” Could Open the Door to State Surveillance

Several weeks ago, we wrote about the very grave bipartisan concerns over “red flag laws” that have sadly been already passed in 17 states. These laws have been described as setting up a process that allows family members or law enforcement to ask a judge for an order that allows temporary confiscation of firearms if a person is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. When even a state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and 2nd amendment rights organizations like Gun Owners of America and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are putting out similar talking

Parent Fights Back After Common Core Math Publisher Sues to Silence Him

Blain Dillard, the Carey, N.C., parent in the Wake County School District that we wrote about several weeks ago who is being sued by a Common Core math curriculum company for speaking out against the Mathematics Vision Project (MVP), is now countersuing: A Cary parent who is being sued for libel and slander for criticizing a controversial math curriculum that’s being used in the Wake County Public School System has filed a countersuit against the Utah-based company, Mathematics Vision Project, also known as MVP.  Blain Dillard, a father of three, is asking that MVP pay his attorney’s fees and damages, anywhere from

New Preschool Changes Are Hurting Children and Crippling Achievement

A recent article by Erika Christakis in The Atlantic titled “The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids” again highlights the problems with making kindergarten and preschool overly academic and how the huge expansion in preschool is actually harming academic achievement and doing little if anything to close the achievement gap. The accountability movement of strict standards and testing moving down to the earlier grades that includes Common Core has exacerbated these problems. The author, who is a preschool teacher, notes the seismic shift in preschool and kindergarten goals: Until recently, school-readiness skills weren’t high on anyone’s agenda, nor was the idea

More Voices Join the Chorus Against Social Emotional Learning

As alarm about the problems, dangers, and poor research related to social emotional learning (SEL) spreads, prominent new voices are entering the fray to speak against it. Bob Kellogg at One News Now recently discussed SEL’s harm to parental autonomy and the academic dilution it causes, while Max Eden, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, wrote in National Review about the problematic SEL curriculum adopted by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio for that city’s schools. The One News Now article referenced the op-ed that Jane Robbins and I wrote for The Federalist, based on our white paper for the

Serious Concerns Emerge in Debate over “Red Flag Laws”

Red flag laws or “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” have become an intensive topic of discussion and debate after the 2018 Parkland, Fla., shooting as well as the more recent shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso Texas. These laws have been described as setting up a process that allows family members or law enforcement to ask a judge for an order that allows temporary confiscation of firearms if a person is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. According to the website “Guns & America” — a collaborative effort of ten different public media outlets — there are

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