By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
In February The Report Card wrote about the Gate’s Foundation student data collection project called inBloom. Today parent protest against invasion of student privacy by this vast initiative, forced inBloom’s clients to cancel their relationship leaving inBloom without any customers.
The NY State Education Department has finally agreed to sever its relationship with inBloom and will ask them to delete all the student data already stored on its cloud. This was the clear intent of the state budget bill approved on Monday, and marks the end of a long battle that started when the Regents approved this egregious contract in December 2011
InBloom, which was financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who also supports Common Core and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, had partnered with school districts to collect data on grading and attendance – and make it available for others to look for patterns that could improve student and teacher performance.
In state after state, district after district, the original nine partner states of inBloom have cancelled their contracts after protests from parents, teachers, and voters, and have got rid of this data-engorging monster, the $100 million creation of the Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corporation. New York State, the Gates Foundation’s most faithful cult follower, was the last to agree to let go.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“Some parents had complained that the information being collected, from tests scores to Social Security numbers to whether there had been violence in the family, was too sensitive to be handled by a private company.
School districts in five states originally listed as partners with inBloom, including Colorado and New York, cancelled relationships with the company. New York recently passed legislation that bars education officials from giving student information to entities that collect data for use in a dashboard or portal.
InBloom, which had been based in Atlanta, hoped insights from its data would lead to more personalized – and effective – instruction. The company planned to charge districts $2-$5 per student by 2015.
In a company blog post announcing the shutdown, inBloom CEO Iwan Streichenberger said technology used to tailor instruction for individual students was still an emerging concept.
“InBloom provides a technical solution that has never been seen before,” Streichenberger wrote. “As a result, it has been the subject of mischaracterizations and a lightning rod for misdirected criticism.”
Streichenberger said closing the organization “wasn’t an easy decision, and the unavailability of this technology is a real missed opportunity for teachers and school districts seeking to improve student learning.”
The company declined to comment beyond the blog post.”
Concerned citizens and parents opposed to Common Core and related student data collection have won a battle, but the war is far from over.