Four weeks ago the College Board president David Coleman admitted he snookered Republican governors into accepting Common Core. In his May 17 presentation to education data analysts in Boston, the author of Common Core State Standards said:
When I was involved in convincing governors and others around this country to adopt these standards, it was not ‘Obama likes them’; do you think that would have gone well with a Republican crowd?
Even though the National Governors Association contracted Coleman’s nonprofit Student Achievement Partners in 2007 to create the standards, by 2010, according to the Journal of Scholarship & Practice, the standards “had not been validated empirically and no metric has been set to monitor the intended and unintended consequences they will have on the education system and children (Mathis, 2010).”
Also in his speech, Coleman, in referring to the College Board, stated he has now brought on Obama’s reelection team to develop his new Access to Rigor Campaign to collect and use data from students he calls “low-hanging fruit.”
The College Board will use its existing and future data “vault” to profile low income and Latino students from K-12 using the slogan “If they can go, they must go” to college.
In order to pull this off, the architect of the Common Core literally begs his audience–data geeks “installed” within school districts and specialists from the Strategic Data Project which is based in Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research–to join him in finding these students and interacting with them throughout their classroom years.
Coleman’s campaign is partnering with former Obama for America’s Chief Analytics Officer Dan Wagner as well as a person Coleman references in his speech as “Jeremy” (could he mean Jeremy Bird also formerly of the OFA data analysis team?). With Obama’s data gurus on hand, the Access to Rigor Campaign promises to be a broad national operation which will complement the massive Obama database already in use.
Coleman also mentions recently visiting with someone at the White House on the invitation of Wagner and others “because they saw that we’re going to take the lead on this issue and they saw an opportunity for this country to get something done.”
Eventually, the College Board will hand over its student data to research organizations like SDP, with restrictions on sharing information; but Coleman was not clear on how this would happen.
However, Coleman made it abundantly clear he will concentrate on data mining our schoolchildren’s proclivities. So, how does intrusion into children’s privacy through more accumulation of data support Coleman’s stated goals of making students career and college ready?
Now that many states have awakened to the deficiencies in Common Core and are even moving to defund them, Republican governors who bought Coleman’s spiel three years ago need to redeem themselves and investigate the nonprofit College Board’s campaign to delve further into the personal lives of our schoolchildren.