Welcome to the world of surveys! This week we begin our series on surveys and questionnaires given 1 – 2 – 3 times per week at your local public or private school. The vast majority are assigned via online learning and through student assigned ipads or chromebooks. Surveys can take up a lot of valuable classroom time. 99% of all surveys are nonacademic. Most importantly, surveys are an invasion of privacy, most often assigned without parental notification or consent and given for the expressed purpose of collecting data for marketers, researchers, and government agencies.
Parents and the general public have yet to be told “why” and “for what reason” great volumes of survey data is being collected on children and teens. Important to note: Parents and students, you can opt out of surveys – you need only refuse.
Join us now as we start our “It’s Nearly-Spring Minnesota! Parade of Minnesota School District Surveys”!!! First up, Anne Taylor informs us of the “Mathomatics” survey given in the Minnetonka School District (as well as other districts in the state). This survey looks like fun, but all that data can easily be “lifted” by unaccountable 3rd parties! Minnetonka has already had issues with data breaches.
Matchomatics: The “Ultimate Student Matching Fundraiser”
by Anne Taylor
Matchomatics is a popular student matching (or compatibility) fundraiser hitting schools around Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, even Homecoming. Students fill out a questionnaire including their name, birth date, height, hair color and other questions of likes and dislikes that teens can relate to (favorite foods, sports, colors, music, etc). While the students fill out the surveys, the company comes up with the matches and then a school club sells the results. But some questions are a bit more revealing and may contain sexual content which raised a complaint most recently in January of this year at Enka High school in North Carolina.
There are other formats of the questionnaire that Matchomatics subscribers may use which includes questions such as: How you communicate with your parents, which way you lean in politics, or where you get your money from. And while Matchomatics claims they don’t sell the data, the information is put into a data system. Should that data get hacked, that’s an awful lot of information on a minor, including the name of the school and address. At Minnetonka High School, parents received no notification of this survey. To
add to it, approximately 20 minutes of instructional classroom time was used to take the survey. You can find the Matchomatics link here:http://matchomatics.com/usa/index.htm
Attached is a copy of the actual survey taken at Minnetonka High School this year.