Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

Who's Watching the Data Watchers?

Publication Date: 2002-07-12

The No Child Left Behind legislation puts in place the total data control of schools and the people in them.

Historical Point of Information: A glitch in Hope Scholarship data collection and storage in Georgia made private family information, including parent social security numbers, accessible on Google.

Comment: Oops, deep doo doo happens.

Point of Information from Today's Headlines: A Florida woman who took Prozac years ago when under a physician's care received, unsolicited and without consultation with a physician, a free one month trial of the prescription medication Prozac Weekly.

The recipient is suing. The suit says Walgreens, a local hospital, three doctors and Eli Lilly, which makes Prozac, misused patients' medical records and invaded their privacy.

Comment: When total family data is available, capitalism finds a way to make a buck off it. Not to be hysterical about it but our medical records aren't secure, and now the unholy triad of the U.S. Department of Education, Congress, and CEO vultures are working overtime to make sure that school info will be available to the highest bidder--for collection, manipulation, and control.

Point of Information that Should Scare the Living Bejesus Out of Anyone Who Has a Kid in School or Cares About Kids in Schools: IBM, headed by Lou Gerstner, the Standardistos' Standardisto, is pushing "a data warehousing solution packaged with technology, services and critical intellectual capital that can help improve student achievement through better information management and data-driven decision making."

Comment: Stay tuned for upcoming commentaries for a look at what "information management and data-driven decision making" look like in the schools that have bought it.

Point of Information That Should Convince Even a Turnip that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was a Corporate-Political Setup from the Get-Go: IBM is offering No Child Left Behind solutions. Their white paper on this, written by the IBM K-12 Business Intelligence Team, is titled "A Thousand Points of Bright."

Cute. It also should bring chills to a walrus.

Comment: "Solution" is IBM's favorite word. And they don't offer just one solution for NCLB, nosiree, Mable. IBM has eight different solutions "to leverage your school district's technology investment to address and benefit from the NCLB legislation": Insight at School, Riverdeep Learning Village, Network Infrastructure Services, Professional development tools and services.

And more. All directed at NCLB. Hmmm. Entrepreneurship at work? Or a planned assault on the children of America---getting them ready to be compliant workers in the global economy? Why else do you think kindergarten has become such a skill-intensive zone with all this blather about getting kids "ready" for kindergarten? When IBM is pushing the benefits of NCLB, watch your back. And safeguard your children. And resist. Resist often and resist loudly.

Question: Does anyone else worry that this sounds like another Final Solution? Another point of historical fact is that IBM played a significant part in data management for the Third Reich.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.