Delaware is launching a plan this month to collect data on 8,500 babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and post the information on its existing Web-based databank…

The project is part of an ambitious—and, to some observers, troubling—effort to link individuals’ educational information from birth through graduate school.   Its expansion to the youngest children could be up and running as early as the next school year,

Users can look up a school and find where its graduates went to college…  At this point, there is no way to stop very personal, previously private, and potentially dangerous information from falling into the hands of third parties, which should not be trusted with it… according to  Evan Queitsch, a member of the Delaware Education Reform Coalition. ..

Thanks to Delaware’s SB51, an entire teacher’s record will now exist from birth through school and college, and onward through her employer, giving us for every teacher, one continuous seam of data…. One bad mark in pre-school, could prevent an otherwise outstanding teacher from ever becoming…

“Teachers can negatively stereotype students based on this sort of data, and it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy,”  Furthermore,  families won’t have access to the database or have an ability to correct information,..  Single data points, such as scores on an assessment tool, can come to define whole children,

Today, that database collects student biographical information, including immigration status and admission to foster care, as well as class schedules, attendance and discipline records, assessment scores, grades and credits earned, and even photographs.

Currently parents can’t see the dashboard itself,  It is available to teachers, principals, districts, and the state,  (Parents can view their child’s information through a parallel information system called the Home Access Center,)

Quite a few people are upset… “The only way to prevent data from being misused is not collecting it in the first place,” said Mr. Oboryshko.

Delaware officials say there are steep security walls in place.  “Retail giants like Target have all sorts of data on people; In todays’ world it is quite safe”

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