To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Vote Yes on HB81
Date: Fri Feb 07 06:31:37 MST 2014
Since the Department of Education has authorized the assessment of over 300 sensitive data points for students, the potential for abuse is staggering. Because Utah has not yet revoked the adoption of the national Common Core Standards, our state is still forced to fill a k-20 database via assessments. This is troubling on many fronts.
First, information is power. And a multi-state, coordinated database of personal data points puts massive power in the hand of government bureaucrats. Scarey.
Second, the Obama administration effectively eviscerated the FERPA protections in 2009. Now, formerly protected information is available to practically any entity that the state deems "appropriate." Even scarier.
Third, the types of information authorized by the DOE to be collected are not just intrusive, they are Orwellian. Sure, AIR/SAGE might not be hooking up little Johnny to an EKG in 2014, but the DOE has given permission to assess behaviors and responses -- not just answers to facts on paper. Really terrifying.
Fourth, the types of sensitive information the DOE is seeking to gather and disburse would result in the loss of licensure of any physician, psychologist, social worker or mental health counselor (of which I am one) who imitated the government. We would get slapped with a minimum fine of 100 thousand dollars and be kicked out of our profession because of HIPPA laws. Why can faceless government workers (or worse, trade groups fronting for corporations) violate my child's privacy this way? Now I'm angry.
Please please please approve HB81 which will allow parents to review these tests! This will be one tiny shaft of light into a process that isn't just non-transparent, it is positively in a black-hole.
Joan R. Landes, ACMHC