The “Data Sharing Agreement” Every Parent Must Read

The Straight A Fund is a $250 Million grant fund established in Governor Kasich’s biennium budget. It is touted as an innovation program, stating “educators now have an unprecedented opportunity to put good ideas into action”. To no one’s surprise, it is the same cast of characters using millions of Ohio tax dollars to capitalize on your child’s personal and education data for the benefit of the education establishment and their cohorts. It is essentially a Common Core slush fund when you consider who sits on the governing board and oversees the awarding of grants; Gerry Stebleton, Andrew Brenner, Peggy Lehner and Dick Ross. One would be hard pressed to find a more solid group of hard core Common Core promoters.

The Straight A Fund awarded the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative grant to twenty seven rural schools last year. Battelle for Kids, which is heavily supported by the Gates Foundation, is the grant administrator and the research is being conducted by the Ohio State University and Ohio University. Their research requires the following information be shared by the student’s local district according to the Data Sharing Agreement districts have recently received:

1. Definitions:

  a. Education Records: include records that are directly related to a student; and maintained by as educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Educational Records includes both paper and electronic records.

  b. Personally Identifiable Information: includes, but is not limited to the following:

       i. student’s name;

      ii. name of the student’s parent or other family member;

     iii. address of the student or student’s family;

     iv. a personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number, student number or biometric record;

      v. other indirect identifiers, such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name;

     vi. other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge or the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty; and

    vii. information requested by a person who School District or OSU reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates.

  c. Records: any information recorded in any way, including but not limited to; handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm and microfiche.

The agreement goes on to reiterate that the “School District may disclose Personally Identifiable Information from an Education Record of a student or parent without consent if the disclosure is to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions to improve instruction”.

We no longer need to imagine what they may do with our children’s personal information without our knowledge or consent. The agreement repeatedly notes that it is completely in compliance with FERPA.

And if you are screaming, “this can’t be legal”, read this excerpt from one district’s legal counsel advising against sharing the Data Agreement publicly:

There is no ability to state that the agreement is privileged or confidential, or at least not one I legally believe would be sufficient to stand up in court…but often with agreements such as these, with the amount of money that comes with them, general public members may not understand all the intricate details/legalities of the agreement, leaving the comments to be ill-informed.”

In other words: Since districts do not have a legal way to hide this agreement from the “ill-informed public,” the lawyers (paid for by our tax dollars) are advising them to execute it immediately so as to not jeopardize the big money that will be lost if parents find out their children are being sold for thirty pieces of silver…No child is safe under Common Core.