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Arne Duncan’s Brave New World: Dept. of Education Wants Your Kid’s Blood Type?

Among other creepy things. Duncan's DoE appears to be doling out federal funds intending to push aside state and local school boards, establish federal curricula, and gather all sorts of personal data. (Birth marks? Really?)

by
Patrick Richardson

Bio

March 12, 2011 - 12:00 am
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These datasets are from the National Education Data Model. From its website:

NEDM is the single, comprehensive model of education data and is prerequisite to establishing automated and comparable systems.

According to Logue, these databases appear to be designed to track students from pre-kindergarten through at least age 20, and for the government to feed them into the workforce:

The whole purpose is to take the educational information and feed it into what they call the P-20 pipeline. … The data system in Illinois is the most advanced at this time.

Indeed, the Illinois program has some frightening aspects of its own, which are presumably mirrored at the federal level. In a document titled ILDS (Illinois Data System) Data Warehouse Architecture & System Design, Illinois defines “workforce” and lays out state and federal involvement in “workforce development.” From page 80:

The term workforce is defined as consisting of the workers engaged in a specific activity, business or industry or the number of workers who are available to be assigned to any purpose as in a nation’s workforce.

The public workforce system is a network of federal, state, and local offices that function to support economic expansion and facilitate the development United States workforce. The system is designed to create partnership with employers, educators, and community leaders in order to foster economic development and high-growth opportunities in regional economies so that businesses find qualified workers to meet their present and future workforce needs. (Emphasis added)

The highlighted areas would seem to indicate that workers should be assigned to purposes rather than choose their own preferred work, and that the government can and should do the assigning.

Forty-one states — plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands — have signed on to a set of standards that makes local school boards all but superfluous. State boards of education become redundant as well if curricula are decided at a national level rather than at a state level.

Local control, long a hallmark of the U.S. education system, would be lost to a “one size fits all” solution imposed by bureaucrats who cannot possibly know the needs or challenges of a local school district.

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Patrick Richardson has been a journalist for almost 15 years and an inveterate geek all his life. He blogs regularly at www.otherwheregazette.com, which aims to be like another SF magazine, just not so serious.
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