From: LauraLyn Eberting
To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Please Oppose HB 96
Date: Thu Feb 06 04:17:07 MST 2014
Body:

I encourage you to vote against HB 96. Government-provided preschool, whether mandatory or not, is not the best thing for young children—regardless of their income status. The federal Head Start preschool program—intended to give disadvantaged preschool-age children a better start to their educational careers—has been shown to have provided no long-term benefit for those children. I disagree strongly with President Obama’s stated objective to institutionalize children in the public school system at an even younger age, and, while the sponsor of this bill may not share the same intent, the underlying assumption that the State can do best is the same as that shared by Pres. Obama. And it simply is not true.

 

I also strongly disagree with the Department of Education’s push and insistence on interoperable data collection systems within the states. I believe that the P-20 data collection system that Utah has adopted is an entirely inappropriate use of governmental authority; and, notably, LEAs are only eligible in this bill if they have the data collection system in place for the preschoolers. There is an appropriate place for limited data collection at the local school level, and some of that, arguably, should be shared with the local school district. Sharing personally-identifiable data with state agencies, contractors, and researchers is beyond necessary, and sharing with federal agencies, contractors, and researchers is unconscionable. With FERPA regulations that blew a hole a mile wide in the FERPA protections for private student data, Utah should be overly-cautious with any data collection. We have no structural protections against use of personally-identifiable student data—including biometric indicators (see 34 CFR §§ 99.3 and 99.31).

 

 

Sincerely,

LauraLyn Eberting