An unprecedented and coordinated worldwide cyberattack on part of the Kentucky Department of Education Infinite Campus, known to parents as the Parent Portal, targeted select small to medium-size districts in Eastern Kentucky this week. According to the Kentucky School Board Association, no student data was touched and portions of the Kentucky DOE website has been down.
State Longitudinal Data Banks, a requirement of the Race to the Top grant and necessary for the adoption of Common Core Standards, are now asking for over 1,000 points of data on each student and their family. Yesterday, Cecile Ferkul, deputy legislative auditor with the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor, stated that the data systems in Minnesota are not secure. Ferkul believes the systems need “significant system renovation” and should not proceed uploading these huge amounts of data until the systems are secure. Families should Opt-Out of sharing any information beyond address, phone number, work phone, e-mail, ie. the basics needed for good communication. In our present drive for prenatal to workforce data collection, parent portals may be sitting ducks.
Minnesotans Against Common Core (MACC) will hold a series of State-Wide Conference Calls to better help inform the public about the implementation of a new educational system called Common Core Standards. Each month, MACC will hold one or two conference calls engaging national speakers on the various concerns surrounding this movement. The first call is set for September 17, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Minnesota began implementing Common Core Standards during the 2012-2013 school year through English/Language Arts only. English/Language Arts Common Core curriculum is being taught due to a federal grant program called, Race to the Top, initiated only months into the Obama administration. Accepting the ELA standards was contingent upon receiving the grant money, despite the fact that the standards had not even been written when the Governor, Commissioner of Education and 300 School Districts approved the federal grant monies during the 2009 economic crisis. Although our state did allow for legislative review of the Math Standards, which we flatly refused, we know that certain Minnesota school districts are unfortunately teaching Common Core Math. The Social Studies Standards were approved by the Governor and Commissioner of Education, only, barring legislative review and input.
We are reaching out to a number of national and state experts, who are directly involved in teaching or in research regarding Common Core. Our first two experts are Jane Robbins from the American Principles Project and Joy Pullman of the Heartland Institute. We hope you find these informational calls beneficial and will invite others to listen in, as well as, ask questions.
They say that money can’t buy happiness, but it’s sure being used to buy the hearts and minds of our kids – just ask Bill Gates! According to Mercedes Schneider, Common Core State Standards would more aptly be named, the “Common Core Gates Standards”. Gates is that entity who has thrown millions at trade organizations, policy think-tanks, the AFT and NEA teacher unions, universities, corporations, and even the PTA in order to persuade the general populace and assuage the fears of doubters.
Our educational system is in the process of being bought and sold. Schneider ponders ,” Can Bill Gates buy a foundational democratic institution? Will America allow it? The fate of CCSS will provide crucial answers to those looming questions.”