by Nancy Thorner October 3, 2013
In an interview with The New American magazine, Illinois-based Heartland Institute Education Research Fellow Joy Pullmann outlined the crucial link between the Obama-backed “Common Core,” the federally funded tests that go with it, and the vast data-gathering apparatus being erected by the administration to gather private information on U.S. students.
“The first thing people have to know is that testing is inseparable from Common Core,” said Pullmann. There are currently two testing consortia developing Common Core assessments for state governments with federal tax dollars, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
As part of the agreements signed between state governments and the federally backed consortia, data gathered on children at school will be provided to the organizations. As an example of the types of data being sought, one of the consortia was interested in information on “student behavior, their attitudes, their persistence, their discipline, and so forth — a lot of non-academic things that a lot of parents aren’t comfortable with.”
“We have a mass of student information available and open and unprotected — personal information about kids — that is literally being collected by Common Core,” Pullman continued. Indeed, the administration has essentially re-written federal privacy regulations — without approval from Congress — to claim that information on children can be shared without parental knowledge or consent.
Aside from the data-mining schemes, Pullmann said other problems with nationalizing education through Common Core include the fact that it enhances the education monopoly already held by government. That will allow special interests, which invariably seek out power sources, to push their agenda more easily. Beyond that, the agenda goes even deeper. “The real goal is social engineering,” Pullmann said, echoing widespread concerns among Common Core critics across the political spectrum. “…The goal is to create a workforce that responds to the needs of the 21st century, as determined by the central planners.”