But you are not the lunatic who rants about longitudinal data and believes all those scary posts on Facebook.
You trust your child's teacher and your school's principal. If something was really bad for your child, they would have no part of it. So, what's all the fuss about a little survey?
Google: "Data Quality Campaign"
"Education is on the road to a transformation into a data-driven enterprise. With better information shared with the appropriate stakeholders, individuals at all levels--teachers and parents, principals and superintendents, business and nonprofit leaders, and policymakers and practitioners--can accelerate their efforts to boost student achievement and to put in place the reforms, policies, and practices that strengthen education for all children. Although the U.S. education system increasingly produces and collects more data, that information often is not shared, or comes too late to prompt appropriate interventions and supports. Moreover, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders such as parents, students, and community partners, lack the training and capacity to use that information to inform their decisionmaking.
Three developments in education data are positive signs that the education sector is in the midst of this transformation into a data-driven enterprise: longitudinal data that connects information about students from the time they start school until they enter their careers; early-warning data that predicts dropping out, such as poor attendance, bad behavior, and course failure, and prompt the appropriate supports; and college- and career-readiness indicators that demonstrate whether students are well prepared to advance their postsecondary education and successfully enter the workplace.
The next frontier is to ensure educators, policymakers, and external stakeholders are maximizing these new tools to improve decisionmaking and student achievement, and there is still much work to be done. First, data must be linked across states, districts, and multiple agencies, and among educational institutions and employers. Second, stakeholders must have access to relevant, timely, appropriate data, consistent with student privacy. Third, the capacity of all stakeholders must be built so they can use longitudinal data to improve decisionmaking and student achievement.
Leaders in business, philanthropy, and education must continue to play a key role in ensuring the success of the remainder of this transition and ensure that technology and data are used efficiently and effectively. These leaders can support the transition from snapshot data to longitudinal data, early-warning systems, and college- and career-ready indicators; support continued efforts to link data across systems; and help build capacity for data use while protecting privacy. With advances in research, technology, and assessments, and with a focused effort, the U.S. education system can lead the world in becoming a data-driven enterprise."
Forget about the scary Facebook posts and the crazy websites. Look at the government's official website and read Tennessee's 2010 Race to the Top Application:
"Tennessee was also one of only 11 states in the nation to have all ten essential elements of statewide data systems as measured by the non-profit Data Quality Campaign – an important external validation of the state’s efforts. Please see Appendix C-1-2 for Tennessee’s report card issued by the Data Quality Campaign."--Page 63 TN Race To The Top Application
"The state’s application to the U.S. Department of Education to expand its statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS) in groundbreaking and thoughtful ways will enable Tennessee to collect and report data using methods that are second to none."--Page 66 TN RTTT Application
But it's all anonymous data, right???
Don't be fooled by the camouflage, Momma Bears!! Keep reading the Race to the Top Application, it's all on pages 63 & 64. The trackers have your child in their cross-hairs.
They may not use names, but Element 1 makes it clear, children have been individually identified using "unique student identifier" since 2002. And they are looking for a better rifle scope:
Advancements in the SLDS application: "Tennessee will improve its unique student identifier by creating a master person identifier that will be used to match individuals across data sets where the unique identifiers do not match."--Page 63 & 64 TN RTTT Application
And under Element 8, they are linking your child to their teachers using "a teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students." --See Page 66, RTTT Application
The government will protect your children, right???
Think again. In 2011, the US Department of Education, without Congressional authorization, changed the regulations governing the release of student data to the private sector. Changes were made to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which allows the release of student records for non-academic purposes and undercuts your parental consent. Why did the USDOE weaken the FERPA law to allow entrepreneurs in the private sector to legally get our children's data? The education industry is insanely profitable, with many paid lobbyists.
Hold Tight, Momma!!
After the tracking, comes the capture... The official explanation for matching teachers with student data is that P-12 Longitudinal Data System will be used to capture data on effective teaching and showcase effective teaching techniques statewide.
In the case of the Tripod Survey, that captured data will go into "...a rich, national database." Students in 1,851 schools across the US completed Tripod surveys including every school in Memphis, TN; Pittsburgh, PA; Grand Rapids, MI and Hawaii."
It's a Decoy!
Momma Bears are not fooled by DECOYS which might explain why the Tripod Survey is so secretive about asking children to answer all kinds of nosy demographic questions about our educational levels and the number of bedrooms in our homes.
Take a look at Element 2 of the Race to the Top Application where the state's goal is to use recent student data and past TVASS scores to create a 20 year retrospective on student demographics: "Merging historic value-added assessment data with more recent Tennessee Department of Education data will yield 20 years of retrospective data on student demographics." --See Page 64, Race to the Top Application.
Old TVASS scores and current student data combined to help teachers be more effective in the future? Hmmm...That's the thing about decoys, they just don't look right and they don't pass the smell test.
The Tripod Survey cost Memphis City Schools $185,000 in 2010 and according to the contract, "The Memphis City Schools will allow Ron Ferguson to embed the MCS data into his large national data set, but all teacher and student names will be purged from these data."
By 2011, the cost of the Tripod Survey went up to $475,000. In 2012 when the Memphis City Schools merged with Shelby County Schools, the cost rose again to $867,700. In 2013, the cost is a whopping $945,000! That's a whole lot of money to be spending with education dollars.
Wake up, Momma!!
While you've been sleeping, Momma Bears have been standing watch. We have been ridiculed and demeaned for trying to wake you up. But it's open season on our kids. Time for you to wake up, pay attention to deceptive camouflage & decoys, and protect your children from those who hunt their information.
Opt your children out.
Send a note to your child's teacher and principal saying your child is not to be given any surveys, including the Tripod Survey. (NOTE: Discuss this with your child first so they know why and are not surprised.)
Alternate assignment for your child to do while other students are doing the Tripod:
"Your Mom and Dad have taught you to only say nice things about others. Write as many kind and positive things as you can about your teacher, and then give your great list to your hardworking teacher."
Now, THAT is how a Momma Bear raises her children to respect others!!!