Patterico's Pontifications


Teaching Liberty to Kids

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:19 am

Just because we don’t want government to do it, doesn’t mean we don’t want it done:

Socialism, like the old policy from which it emanates, confounds Government and society. And so, every time we object to a thing being done by Government, it concludes that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of education by the State—then we are against education altogether. We object to a State religion—then we would have no religion at all. We object to an equality which is brought about by the State then we are against equality, etc., etc. They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State.

That wonderful passage is from Frederic Bastiat’s short book The Law, which you can read for free here. Writing in 1850, Bastiat made a principled case that government should be limited to the common defense — banding together to defend ourselves against enemies from without and within. By contrast, taking property from one person to give to another is “plunder” — albeit “legal plunder.” It should not be allowed, as it tramples on a person’s freedoms.

The idea is that government does not have the right to do things that are immoral for individuals to do. We all have the right to self-defense, and so we have the right to come together to make that self-defense more effective. But, as popular a character as Robin Hood might be, nobody has the right to rob from the rich to give to the poor — and so, neither should government.

Bastiat’s definition of “plunder” is not confined to social welfare programs, by the way. He objects (as I do) to other forms of government coercion which have the effect of taking from one party and giving to another. These include tariffs, slavery, progressive taxation, free public schools, and labor laws.

One issue that arises when someone believes in limited government is: how do I teach this to children? Well, someone has come along and turned “The Law” into a kids’ book, complete with illustrations and a greatly condensed and simplified text. I have not read the book yet, but I did order it here, and look forward to giving it to my kids and discussing it with them. It is part of a new series featuring “The Tuttle Twins,” who learn about limited government and the free market. It is geared towards ages 6 to 11, but I plan to have both my 11-year-old and my 14-year-old read it.

They get enough statist claptrap from the state-run schools. If they’re going to get anything else, it will have to be at home.

25 Responses to “Teaching Liberty to Kids”

  1. By the way, I still intend to follow up my gold standard posts with another, but I had a lot of other stuff going on last night and I don’t think I have the time this morning. Stay tuned; I will come back to it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Our children will take in all of the thinking of the age. We want this. This is the age they live in. But we also want them to be able to think for themselves and, if necessary, dissent.

    When they are teens, it is critical that we listen to them and respond to what they say. This response often takes the form of stepping way back to core unspoken assumptions. Why must all solutions involve large government? Does providing more public money really solve the identified problems? Is there something else going on here? Perspective, framing the argument and seeing how the argument has been framed, identifying appeals to emotion and other fallacies, observing every leap of reason (climate change is happening therefore man is causing it), exposing those poorly informed, etc. But all with patience and a willingness to engage ideas.

    Young people are idealists. Start from first principles (eg private property is not evil and stealing it is). Claim the high ground. Define your terms and stick to them.

    We need young people to be able to engage their own culture. They need to be equipped to do so.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  3. As a lawyer, I have been focusing on the actual required classroom implementation of the K-12 reforms commonly known as the Common Core. It is much different from the rhetoric and coming from poorly recognized directions that do have binding authority.

    So it’s not just that statism gets pushed in the classroom. It’s that the traditional transmission of knowledge is being rejected as a barrier to transformational change. is an explanation of what is really going on that is even more pertinent now.

    It is hard to teach kids why liberty matters when the very legitimacy of the concept of individualism is being formally rejected by the school standards. Tracing back through virtually every mandate turns up the new communitarian focus.

    Robin (f0ec4e)

  4. Someone needs to do a book on Toqueville, too.

    Patricia (be0117)

  5. I don’t care if they (the “they”) try to inculcate statist values in my daughter. It’s accepted that a public school will. She’s smart enough and inquisitive enough (ok, she likes to read) to get other information and pick what makes more sense. I do care whether she can compete with “Asian” kids in math and the hard sciences. That’s the bad press that I’m seeing about Common Core which bothers me. Math for Morons, Chemistry for Chumps, Physics for Feebs, Biology for Boobs. I hope that it’s overstated and that we can deal with any deficiencies that really exist with home tutoring.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Can’t they admit a lot of the things that happened in the first New deal were exceedingly stupid?

    This destruction of goods happened in many countries. It was the prevailing theory.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  7. You know, Patterico, I’m wondering where this is leading. Gold Standard, extreme limited government, secession – are you trying to hit every out there idea that’s marked as fringe conservative? I’m waiting for you to argue that every citizen has the right to keep and bear any weapon, up to and including nukes, or that all prosecutors should stop being government employees and just be lawyers hired by the victim.

    I prefer to think about realistic ideas that might be implemented.

    OmegaPaladin (f4a293)

  8. or that all prosecutors should stop being government employees and just be lawyers hired by the victim.

    Not the victim, but that’s how it is in the British felony courts. The government’s High Lord Prosecutor (some name like that) only reviews the case and hires a barrister, for that particular case, to conduct the trial. The barrister might be defending a different case at the same time. Meh! Pahtaytoe, poetahtoe.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. 5. I don’t care if they (the “they”) try to inculcate statist values in my daughter. It’s accepted that a public school will. She’s smart enough and inquisitive enough (ok, she likes to read) to get other information and pick what makes more sense.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 5/7/2014 @ 12:26 pm

    You should care. Coercive persuasion is a very powerful technique. Lots of very smart people have joined cults. And I don’t call this curriculum “Common Cult” for nothing.

    Schools provide ideal environments to create an atmosphere amenable to coercive persuasion. In fact, many schools already practice cp in other areas such as to “fight racism” by teaching white students about their “privilege” or enforce tolerance for transgendered students by making girls go to the locker room with boys who “identify” as girls. And they’re now practicing cp to get the kids on board with Common Cult. For instance, three conditions that ideally must be met to successfully use cp tactics. You must be in the type of environment where you can suppress old habits and thoughts, reward new habits and thoughts, and create a sense of powerlessness and dependence. Schools are ideal environments to do this because they control the child’s time and physical environment.

    Students can opt out of Common Cult testing as many students and parents object to the fact that along with test test scores personally identifying, non-academic information about the child such as “behavioral indicators” are fed into a district and state level database.. Did you think Common Cult was just a curriculum, nk? Oh no, it’s much more than that, if your state takes the “Race To The Top” grant money along with adopting the curriculum. And yes, nk, your state of Illinois is one of those states took the bribe and has committed to building a State Longitudinal Database System. Oh, and that data can be shared or even sold. So much for your daughters privacy.

    So it is technically optional. And in some states it is. Instead of the Common Cult test the student is given a pencil-and-paper test State laws vary. Some children have been suspended. Not for opting out per se, but for “insubordination.” Some penalize the student in terms of GPA, for instance. In NY they have their “sit and stare” policy.

    Thousands of students opt out of Common Core tests

    New York is another of those states that took the bribe and built the database. That’s why these parents are upset.

    Many parents at Woodland Middle School in East Meadow, Long Island, are so upset but the implementation of the Common Core, they’re pulling their kids out of the exams.Some schools across the state, including Woodland, have implemented a “sit and stare policy.” If students don’t take the test, they have to wait quietly at their desks until others are finished.”I don’t want to say I had them take the test because it’s a good idea but I didn’t think the other option of having them sit there and do nothing is the right thing to do,” said Lilian Zaradich, a parent.

    Read more:

    The coercive techniques of cp can start off being very subtle, and increase from there, depending on how much pressure it takes to suppress the old attitudes and thoughts.

    And then reward the new behaviors and attitudes and thoughts. Some schools have rewarded their 3rd grade students who took the Common Cult tests by, for instance giving them ice cream. While the other 8 year olds who opted out get to sit there and watch them eat it.

    The sit and stare method along with the “good kids get ice cream” method also has the added benefit of making the students who opted out feel socially ostracized. All the punishment methods make the student feel powerless, of course, but the carrot and stick approach fosters an atmosphere where the ostracized student wants to be rewarded by the teacher, too. Thus creating an atmosphere of dependence. But the child doesn’t just know the teacher is rewarding the other students. The child has to sit there and watch as the other students get to eat their reward treats. If the child who opts out changes her behavior and instead models her peers, the teacher will reward her, too. Peer pressure, so to speak, reinforces the other techniques.

    Again cp techniques don’t have to be so obvious such as isolating “uncooperative” POWs by throwing them into solitary confinement. There are more subtle ways to isolate someone.

    I think you should find out more about Common Cult before you decide you don’t need to be concerned, especially about the database that may contain your daughter’s very personal information. And some of yours as well. I say may because the very personal information is supposed to require parental approval before they can extract it, but as with the privacy assurances there appear to be loopholes you can drive a truck through.

    Steve57 (e86077)

  10. Another reason to move to Texas. Texas, along with Alaska, Virginia, and Indiana didn’t adopt Common Cult. Minnesota adopted a couple of standards but not the whole kit & kaboodle.

    Steve57 (e86077)

  11. Rush has written a few historical fiction books for kids based on a character (from his tea company) named Rush Revere with a time travelling horse. I have the first one. I think they are worthwhile.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  12. Speaking of teaching kids things, as it is said, the problem isn’t what people don’t know, it’s what they know to be true but isn’t (paraphrase).

    Is fat not bad for you after all?

    But that doesn’t keep some from doubling down (haven’t we seen that before):

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  13. “This response often takes the form of stepping way back to core unspoken assumptions.”

    – Amphipolis

    Whose? Society’s, or your own?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  14. “I prefer to think about realistic ideas that might be implemented.”

    – OmegaPaladin

    No one’s stopping you. I, for one, appreciate these discussions of “fringe ideas.” A “fringe idea” is something that makes a majority uncomfortable with an examination of first principles.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  15. Comment by Leviticus (1aca67) — 5/8/2014 @ 6:46 am

    I would say all of the above.
    Often they do overlap greatly. Our personal core beliefs will generally be those we learn more or less by “osmosis” from our local environment and society at large until we have some bit of conviction or inkling that maybe we should think harder about what we think we know. In one way even if our beliefs are contrarian to our environment and culture, we are still captive to the culture and our temperament to be contrarian/oppositional unless we actively consider what it is we believe to be true.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  16. At winter break my daughter’s Communications teacher told the class, “I want you to watch a lot of TV and spend a lot of time on the internet and just sit around a lot doing nothing”. The kids’ (11-year olds) response was, “Don’t tell us what to do”. They’re bright kids. Kids (and parents) make the character of a school.

    Steve, Common Cult Core may be bad for my daughter’s school but it could be the best thing that could ever happen to Chicago’s inner city kids. Those kids do need to have their minds molded to some kind of social conformity. We’ll see.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. No, Rotten Core, is about not learning, and creating community organizers,

    narciso (3fec35)

  18. What little I have gathered from listening to aspects of the discussion about Common Core,
    originally it was focused on education standards and was not a federal program;
    then the feds got involved and instead of just focusing on standards they got into curriculum as well, to better streamline the indoctrination.

    In some ways, as we know, it is just a more direct version of what has been going on since at least the 60’s, when I learned how great a President FDR was for bringing us through a depression and how tough JFK was in dealing with the Soviets.

    At least I learned along the way that dropping the bomb on Japan was (at least arguably) reasonable because it ended a terrible war that otherwise would have continued.

    From the little I know, Dewey and company were for compulsory public eduction in order to train the public to be what “it should be”.
    I think there was something about hands rocking cradles involved.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  19. The Law is also available as a free eBook from Project Gutenberg.

    tek (2063de)

  20. nk @16, I don’t see how what is essentially a fraud can be the best thing to ever happen to anyone.

    To address the standards first, Common Cult actually lowers them in math and English Language Arts (ELA) for many states. Common Cult was presented to the states as if it were bring US education in line with the best international standards, that it would prepare students for college, and that the math standards would better prepare students to major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This is wrong on all counts.

    Dr. James Milgram, Professor Emeritus, Algebraic Topology, at Stanford and Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Arkansas Dept. of Education Reform both were members of the Common Core Validation Committee. They refused to sign off on a statement that essentially asserted the above claims Common Cult proponents made to the states in an effort to get them to adopt the curriculum were valid. Again, they are not.

    As the lead writer for the Common Cult math standards, Dr. Jason Zimba admitted in 2010. In 2013 he attempted to walk back that admission, three years after the minutes of that meeting were approved and despite the fact that Dr. Zimba’s admission was recorded on video. Consequently Dr.s Milgram and Stotsky wrote a paper in response.

    I. Purpose of Paper
    This paper began as a response to the attempt by Professor Jason Zimba, a lead writer of
    Common Core’s mathematics standards, to revise in 2013 what he said about the meaning
    of “college readiness” in 2010. Zimba’s original comments on this topic were uttered at the
    March 2010 meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. In
    the official minutes of this meeting, we find the following: “Mr. Zimba said that the concept
    of college readiness is minimal and focuses on non-selective colleges.
    “1 On August 2, 2013,
    Common Core Watch at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute posted the first of two blogs by Zimba
    in which he claimed that this summary statement was inaccurate. He then elaborated in each blog
    on what he claimed he meant by what he had said.2

    What was remarkable about Zimba’s claim that his definition of college readiness was not
    accurately or fully captured by the summary statement in the minutes of a public meeting was,
    first, that his complaint occurred over three years after the minutes had been approved, and,
    second, that there is a complete video record of the meeting. As we will show, the record does
    not support Zimba’s claim. In fact, Zimba said much more about the limitations of Common
    Core’s mathematics standards than is suggested by the statement in the minutes.
    And those
    comments need to be much more widely known and understood.

    …In addition, it nullifies the main reason the federal government provided over four BILLION
    dollars in Race to the Top (RttT) funds;3 it expected these new standards to improve the critical
    STEM pipeline.

    As an aside, the document contains the exact criteria the members of the validation committed were supposed to stipulate to if you care to read them. In addiction to Prof.s Milgram and Stotsky three other of the 29 members refused to sign. The above emphasis were Milgram’s and Stotsky’s. The below are mine.

    III. Zimba’s Definition of College Readiness in 2010
    To verify the accuracy of the official minutes of the March 2010 meeting, the authors of this
    paper obtained a copy of the official recording of the meeting. Its sound quality is excellent.
    Zimba’s exact comment in his initial presentation was: “We have agreement to the extent that it’s
    a fuzzy definition, that the minimally college-ready student is a student who passed Algebra II.”

    Stotsky (a member of the state board at the time) later asked him to clarify what he meant. Zimba
    stated: “In my original remarks, I didn’t make that point strongly enough or signal the agreement
    that we have on this—the definition of college readiness. I think it’s a fair critique that it’s a
    minimal definition of college readiness.

    Stotsky remarked at this point “for some colleges,” and Zimba responded by stating: “Well, for
    the colleges most kids go to, but not for the colleges most parents aspire to.”

    Stotsky then asked “Not for STEM? Not for international competitiveness?” Zimba responded
    Not only not for STEM, it’s also not for selective colleges. For example, for UC Berkeley,
    whether you are going to be an engineer or not, you’d better have precalculus to get into UC

    …In the context of Zimba’s remarks in 2010, college readiness appears to mean that students will (likely) not have to take a remedial course in mathematics or English if they seek to attend a non-selective college or a community college.

    In many ways this definition and the dialogue above are remarkable. It is extremely rare for a lead author of a standards document to admit that a major concept (the definition of college readiness) does not apply to high school students capable of entering (or seeking to enter) a selective college or university (roughly the top 20-30 percent of a high school cohort).

    One of Dr. Zimba’s attempted walk-backs was to point out that Dr. Milgram said that the Common Cult math standards were better than 90% of the standards they replace. This is true; Dr. Milgram did say that. So why did he refuse to sign on and validate those standards?

    Thus, Milgram’s remark that Common Core’s standards are better than 90%
    of the state standards should not be construed as a compliment to Common Core but as an
    indictment of most state standards. Milgram is saying that as weak as Common Core’s standards
    are, about 45 states had even weaker standards. This situation requires something other (and
    much more) than the weak Common Core’s standards to correct.

    In other words, Common Cult simply will not do what the sales pitch to the states claims it will do.

    Dr. Milgram’s testimony before the Indiana Senate Education committee, urging them not to adopt Common Cult. I will simply quote his answer to the first question.

    Mathematically, there is no good reason to adopt Common Core Math Standards over the Indiana Standards. Indeed, the Indiana standards were/are? one of the top 4 or 5 state standards in the country, and are approximately at the level of the top international standards. The Common Core standards claim to be “benchmarked against to international standards” but this phrase is meaningless. They are actually two or more years behind international expectations by eighth grade, and only fall further behind as they talk about grades 8 – 12. Indeed, they don’t even fully cover the material in an solid geometry course, or in the second year algebra course.

    I’ll get into the privacy issue in a separate comment.

    Steve57 (e86077)

  21. *for many some states.

    Steve57 (e86077)

  22. Consider that ruinous public spending, an almost unitary executive in all matters, the abrogation of practically all constitutional rights, have become common place

    narciso (3fec35)

  23. Before I get into the privacy issues, I want to point out some of the Obama administration’s further deceptions when they attempted to sell Common Cult to the states and a skeptical public. In a lot of ways it’s similar to how the sold Obamacare (I know, hard to believe). Except in an extremely narrow sense, there claims were true. But in the broader sense, their critics are right.

    That can be seen in this speech Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, made in 2013.

    For instance, he said:

    Academic standards used to be just a subject for after-school department meetings and late-night state board sessions. But now, they’re a topic for dueling newspaper editorials. Why? That’s because a new set of standards—rigorous, high-quality learning standards, developed and led by a group of governors and state education chiefs—are under attack as a federal takeover of the schools. And your role in sorting out truth from nonsense is really important.

    Technically, that’s true. But if you replace the word “federal” with “national” then the critics are right.

    With governors and state leaders making major progress on standards, we gave them all the support we could, within the bounds of what’s appropriate for the limited federal role in education.

    True. Unsaid is the fact that in order to get around the fact that the federal government’s role in education is constitutionally limited, the DoE entered into a series of public-private partnerships so that the private entity can do what the federal government can not.

    Perhaps the principal private entity is the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), which is the copyright holder for the Common Cult standards.

    It was voluntary—we didn’t mandate it—but we absolutely encouraged this state-led work because it is good for kids and good for the country.

    Yes, they “encouraged” states to adopt Common Cult. But left unsaid is that part of this “encouragement” is to punish states that do not adopt Common Cult or opt out, as Indiana is finding out. I realize it’s hard to believe that an administration that would attempt during a partial government shutdown would do things no previous administration had ever done such as “close” unattended, open air memorials or private enterprises that receive no federal services but simply pay the park service rent as its landlord simply to spit in the eye of American citizens would attempt to make things as painful as possible for states that don’t bend to its will, but there you go.

    One more thing:

    When the critics can’t persuade you that the Common Core is a curriculum, they make even more outlandish claims. They say that the Common Core calls for federal collection of student data. For the record, we are not allowed to, and we won’t.

    Again, technically true. The federal government can not collect student data. For now. But again if you replace the word “federal” with “national” the above is entirely false. Remember the CCSSO? The private entity the DoE entered into a partnership with? Here’s what they have to say on the subject:

    Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC)

    The Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC) is CCSSO’s network of state education agency officials tasked with data collection and reporting; information system management and design; and assessment coordination. EIMAC advocates on behalf of states to reduce data collection burden and improve the overall quality of the data collected at the national level.

    You’ll hear this later whan I discuss how badly student (and family) privacy is going to be violated.

    Steve57 (e86077)

  24. Just to make it clear that I’m not imagining the link between the DoE and the CCSSO, here again is the CCSSO on the subject.

    Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC)

    Collaborate in the planning of national data initiatives by building partnerships with national data collectors, including federal program offices.

    I will give you three guesses as to which department to which those federal program offices belong. The first two don’t count.

    Arne Duncan, and by extension Barack Obama, would have you believe that this is some state-led intitiative. It isn’t. The best way to describe it is that while the federal government can’t actually do certain things, it can fund and direct the efforts of those who can, and while it can not mandate the states comply it can provide a set of incentives and disincentives to compel them to do so.

    Despite Arne Duncan’s speech, the feds have been in no way hands off.

    Steve57 (e86077)

  25. “It takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”

    John Dingell, Democrat.

    Collectivization is always voluntary. At first.

    Let’s cut to the chase; the various databases related to Common Core (technically the databases are a separate program, Race to the Top, but Common Cult captures the information and then the data is stored in the Student Data Lontitudinal System [SDLS]) are designed to violate your child’s privacy because the people who put Common Core together do not believe in a right to privacy any more than they believe in private property or the bill of rights.

    If people running our education establishment believed in a right to privacy, they wouldn’t threaten children who don’t want to shower after PE class with opposite sex children who claim to “identify” as transgendered with hate crimes.

    In no particular order: The DoE bureaucracy has decided to weaken the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in two very important ways. First as of 2011 it is now merely a “best practice” to get a parent’s signature to release private student information that used to require a parent’s signature (or when 18 or over the student’s) to a third party. This is a central part of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) lawsuit against the DoE.

    But in 2011, regulations issued by the department changed FERPA to allow the release to third parties of student information for non-academic purposes. The rules also broaden the exceptions under which schools can release student records to non-governmental organizations without first obtaining written consent from parents. And they promote the public use of student IDs that enable access to private educational records, according to EPIC, a nonprofit public-interest center based in Washington D.C.

    Government officials have defended the regulations. A government notice in the Federal Register says the rules are necessary.

    …to ensure that the Department’s implementation of FERPA continues to protect the privacy of education records, as intended by Congress, while allowing for the effective use of data in statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS) as envisioned in the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act (COMPETES Act) and furthermore supported under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Improved access to data contained within an SLDS will facilitate States’ ability to evaluate education programs, to build upon what works and discard what does not, to increase accountability and transparency, and to contribute to a culture of innovation and continuous improvement in education.

    Of course it is.

    What kind of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is shareable under this broadening of the rules? Biometric data such as palm scans, iris scans, DNA, and facial recognition data.

    What other kind of information will be in the database and will be shared with third parties? This:

    Sophomores at a Poolesville High School in the Montgomery County School District in Poolesville, Maryland were presented with a “survey” that was more than invasive, it was interrogative. These students who participated in the survey were asked questions that would be reserved for criminal defendants, but this school district is Common Core affiliated, in line with the Obama/Nazi regime. Is this what is to become of the United States education system? Are we witnessing Obama’s Hitler youth come to life through school indoctrination?

    Over the top? You decide. Here’s the list of questions:

    Here is the complete survey:

    2013-14 Sophomore Survey

    How many siblings do you have?
    4 or more

    Which House (This refers to the specific curriculum of the school)


    Were you born in the United States?

    What part of Montgomery County do you live in?
    Poolesville (surrounding areas)
    Montgomery Village

    What race do you most identify with?
    African American
    Middle Eastern
    Caucasian (White non Hispanic)
    South Asian (India, etc.)
    Native American
    Pacific Islander

    What middle school did you attend?
    John Poole
    Rocky Hill
    Roberto Clemente
    Montgomery Village
    Forrest Oak

    What Religion do you identify with?
    Protestant (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian etc.)
    Agnostic (Belief in something but unsure what)
    Christian Non-Denominational

    What is your living situation?
    Both parents
    Single Mother
    Single Father
    Legal Guardian/Relative
    Split between parents
    Parent and Step Parent

    What is you household income (in US dollars)?
    Less than 50,000
    More than 250,000
    I have no idea

    What is your sexual orientation?
    Not sure
    Other (transgender, asexual, pansexual, etc)

    Parents’ Political Identification
    I have no idea

    Highest parent education level
    Non High School Graduate
    High School Graduate
    Some College
    College Graduate
    Post College Degree (MD, PhD, Masters)
    I do not know

    On average your grades are?

    Marijuana in Maryland should be
    Legal for all uses/purposes
    Legal for medicinal reasons only (prescribed by doctor/physician)
    Not legal

    Which best represents your feelings/sentiments about Obamacare?
    Beneficial to everyone
    It benefits the poor only but that is okay
    It benefits the poor only and it hurts the economy
    It is the worst thing to happen to America in a long time
    It is neither good nor bad
    no opinion

    Should students have to complete an environmental service project to graduate High School?

    Should the sale of assault rifles be banned?

    Should Maryland have the death penalty?

    Do you think same sex couples should be able to marry in Maryland?

    The school day should begin and end at which of the following?

    Should the National Government require states to allow same sex marraiges?

    Who is primarily to blame for the government shutdown?
    Equally to blame
    President Obama

    The condition of the U.S. economy is best described as…
    Getting a lot worse
    Getting worse
    Will remain the same for the foreseeable future
    Getting better
    Getting a lot better

    Which of the following would make you the most likely to buy school lunches more often?
    Salad Bar
    Burrito/nacho bar
    Better fries
    Lower prices
    Fresh Fruit/Vegetables
    Food cooked at school (never frozen)
    More vegetarian/vegan/gluten free choices
    More choices

    If President Obama were caucasian how much more or less criticism do you think he would he recieve?
    A lot less
    Somewhat less
    No difference
    Somewhat more
    A lot more

    Would you be willing to have more field trips if it meant a longer school year?

    Which of the following should the national government increase funding for most?
    Environmental Protection
    Fixing the economy
    National defense
    Helping the poor/disadvantaged

    It’s not an aberration. This survey was sent home with a first grader in Louisiana’s Central Community School System. Did you ever think you’d see the day when your six year old would be asked about his or her sexual orientation, and your alcohol or drug use, for a government database.

    The safeguards aren’t very safe, it appears to me. A company called Inbloom Inc. will be operating the databases, but it’s up to the states and school districts to determine third party eligibility to access the PII. This includes private contractors. Given the loosening of the FERPA standards this looks to me like it’s rife for abuse.

    But at least it’s all going to be used for educational purposes as noted in the DoE’s note in the Federal Register, right? Wrong. One of the initiatives of which the CCSSO (DoE’s partner) is a managing parter is the Data Quality Campaign. The student data that goes into the Student Data Longitudanal System is supposed to be able to be shared across agencies. Specifically, with Health & Human Services, Dept.s of Labor, Foster Care, Corrections, Child Protective Services, Police, and the Courts.

    They are not talking about aggregated anonymous data to improve policy decisions.

    …This progress toward linking P–20/workforce data is promising,
    but it is unclear if and how states are actively sharing this
    information and using it to make decisions.
    More work also is needed to ensure data are exchanged
    between education and other critical agencies. At the same
    time states are improving their education data systems, other
    state agencies, such as health, social services and criminal
    justice, are identifying their key policy questions and developing
    ways to share individual data across agencies in an
    effort to improve real-time, point-of-service response to each
    young person’s needs.

    …States are making progress toward sharing data across the
    P–20/workforce pipeline and across state agencies, and the
    federal government is helping to fuel this momentum. As
    states work to meet the American Recovery and Reinvestment
    Act (ARRA) requirement to follow individuals through
    the P–20 pipeline and into the workforce by 2011, their progress
    will be expedited and supported by using the following
    four-part framework to guide the development and implementation
    of their cross-agency data sharing efforts.

    Who knew the ARRA contained that? Every time they try to be reassuring about how they’re addressing privacy concerns, they let the mask slip.

    3. Clarify FERPA and state privacy laws to reinforce that personally
    identifiable information is protected and data can be shared across
    agencies; and

    If I were a parent I’d just feel all kinds of better to know that my privacy and my child’s privacy is being protected as our individual data is being shared with everyone in government. Considering how the DoE single handedly decides to remove FERPA protections whenever the privacy requirements get in the way of their work, I consider the above to be nothing more than a nod to privacy act theater.

    And it gets better. If for some reason a state does try to aggregate data to remove PII and just use unidentifiable information to make policy decisions, at the national level the CCSSO is working on a solution for that.

    4. Continued Commitment to Disaggregation

    Disaggregation = removing the anonymity.

    Steve57 (e86077)

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