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In Their Own Words: WHO Is Behind President Trump’s BIG WORKFORCE Initiative

Reorganization and Reform Plan

In Their Own Words:  WHO is Behind President Trump’s BIG WORKFORCE Initiative, Part I

 The Office of Management and Budget, federal agencies and departments recently unveiled a reorganization plan of the federal government.  The plan is said to be a necessity, due redundant and outdated policy and, of course, fiscal responsibility.  Much of this is true. Merging the Department of Education and Labor is the #1 goal among the various missions of the reorganization plan.  The reorganization plan points to a much longer document titled, “The President’s Agenda: Strategic Workforce Management, which spells out better how the American workforce will be managed from the Federal government.

What exactly did Trump request?  In March 2017, not long after taking office, Trump released his Executive Order tasking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to examine all executive departments and agencies.

“Based on this input, we will develop a detailed plan to make the federal government work better, reorganizing, consolidating and eliminating where necessary. In other words, making the federal government more efficient and very, very cost productive.  So we’re going to do something, I think, very, very special.”

The OMB and agencies quickly responded delivering the vision one month later.

“Today, OMB issued a reform plan, “Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce,” to chart the course for a restrained, effective, and accountable Government to better serve the American people.”

*To understand more about the OMB, the agency describes itself as, “OMB carries out its mission through five critical processes that are essential to the President’s ability to plan and implement his priorities across the Executive Branch:

  1. Budget development and execution.
  2. Management, including oversight of agency performance, human capital, Federal procurement, financial management, and information technology.
  3. Regulatory policy, including coordination and review of all significant Federal regulations by executive agencies.
  4. Legislative clearance and coordination.
  5. Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda.

Mick Mulvaney is the director of the OMB and Betsy DeVos is the secretary of the US Department of Education.

There are two documents which clearly show the intent of the OMB, agency heads and the president:

  1. Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations
  2. The President’s Management Agenda: Strategic Workforce Management

The President’s “FY 2019 Budget:  Strengthening the Federal Workforce” is due out later this fall.

The federal Reorganization document, “The Opportunity” (pg. 23) raises many alarming questions.  It states, “The workforce development program consolidation would centralize and better coordinate Federal efforts to train the American workforce, reduce administrative costs, and make it easier for State and localities to run programs to meet the comprehensive needs of their workforce.”

Neither the Reorganization Plan nor the Strategic Workforce Management initiative discuss education in terms of academics.  These documents only discuss the “skills” needed for the workforce.  This language is reminiscent of the language of the National Goals (George HW Bush), GOALS 2000 and School-to-Work (Bill & Hillary Clinton), SCANS Documents (US Dept of Labor – Clintons), and later federal education grants.  For Minnesotans, this was the language of OBE and the Profiles of Learning.  And, of course, we can’t forget Marc Tucker’s, Dear Hillary Letter!

Certainly, there’s another way to reduce the federal debt and consolidate some programs across agencies.   However, no amount of money saved is worth taking the plunge into a government-managed economy for our country’s children, families, employers and workers, which in the end, translates into removing liberty from every citizen.

 

Private Sexual Information Important to Prior Lake-Savage Schools; Zero Thought Given to following Federal, State and Local School Board Laws & Policies

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools Home Page

Private Sexual Information Important to Prior Lake–Savage Schools and Without Parental Notification; Zero Thought Given to following Federal, State and Local School Board Laws & Policies

by Linda Bell

Prior Lake decided to administer an illegal and intrusive survey on sexual issues as well as other topics in the waning days of 2017-2018 school year.  Who would know?  The kids did!  Kids as young as 10 and 11! The survey is marked, “required”. “I think our school board and administration know that asking a sixth-grader if they are “having sex” is personal,” stated Wes Mader, former Prior Lake mayor.

On June 6th, the district assigned all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students to take a survey on Google docs.  Where is that survey information now?  To whom has the school shared or sold this personal student information?  Parents quickly brought this to the attention of the Prior Lake administration and school board, but as of today… crickets!

Were parents notified?  No!  Parents did not receive an email, call or other notification.  Students were surprised about the survey as well as nature of the questions.

Did Prior Lake-Savage Schools break the law?  Indeed they did!  Minnesota Statute 121A.065 states that surveys must be given with, “direct and timely notice.”  Direct and timely notice alone constitute an illegality.  But there’s more!  Here’s the full statute.

121A.065 DISTRICT SURVEYS TO COLLECT STUDENT INFORMATION; PARENT NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR OPTING OUT.

(a) School districts and charter schools, in consultation with parents, must develop and adopt policies on conducting student surveys and using and distributing personal information on students collected from the surveys. School districts and charter schools must:

(1) directly notify parents of these policies at the beginning of each school year and after making any substantive policy changes;

(2) inform parents at the beginning of the school year if the district or school has identified specific or approximate dates for administering surveys and give parents reasonable notice of planned surveys scheduled after the start of the school year;

(3) give parents direct, timely notice, by United States mail, e-mail, or other direct form of communication, when their students are scheduled to participate in a student survey; and

(4) give parents the opportunity to review the survey and to opt their students out of participating in the survey.

(b) School districts and charter schools must not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student who opts out of participating in a survey under paragraph (a).

So…

  1. Were parents directly notified at the beginning of each school year about survey policies, which were to be adopted in 2016?
  2. Were parents informed at the beginning of the school year regarding this school-wide survey? Or at any other instance prior to the survey?
  3. Were parents given direct timely notice? We know that answer to be no.
  4. Were parents given an opportunity to review the survey and possibly opt out their students from participation?
  5. Would Prior Lake understand that they cannot impose an academic or other penalty upon a student who opts out?

According to Prior Lake–Savage’s own School Board Policy Manual (pg. 1 Student Surveys in General)    C. Surveys containing questions pertaining to the student’s or the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) personal beliefs or practices in sex, family life, morality and religion will not be administered to any student unless the parent or guardian of the student is provided with notification that such survey is to be administered. Parents or guardians of the student will have the opportunity to have the student opt out of the survey.”  This policy appears to be in alignment with Statute 121.065.

 Later in the same section (pg. 2), we find this paragraph regarding funding requirements of the US Department of Education.  “B. No student shall be required, as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor) or, in the case of an emancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent, to submit to a survey that reveals information concerning: 1. political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; 2. mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family; 3. sex behavior or attitudes; 4. illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior; 5. critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships; 6. legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers; 7. religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or 8. income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).”

 And once again on pg. 3 under “Annual Notice.”

“Annual Parental Notification

  1. The district will provide notice annually of when surveys are expected to be administered. Notice will be at the beginning of the school year, and within a reasonable period of time after any substantive change in a policy.
  2. The school district must inform parents at the beginning of the school year if the district or school has identified specific or approximate dates for administering surveys and give parents reasonable notice of planned surveys scheduled after the start of the school year. The school district must give parents direct, timely notice when their students are scheduled to participate in a student survey by United States mail, e-mail, or another direct form of communication.
  3. The notice will provide parents with an opportunity to opt out of participation in the following activities:

1. Activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information, or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose.    2. The administration of any third-party survey (non-Department of Education funded) containing one or more of the items contained in Section IV.B., above.  3. The school district must give parents the opportunity to review the survey and to opt their students out of participating in the survey.”   Prior Lake – Savage School Board Policies may be found here.  https://www.priorlake-savage.k12.mn.us/uploaded/School_Board/Policies/500/520_-_Student_Surveys.pdf

 Obviously, Prior Lake–Savage administrators were very well aware of what they were doing and pushed parents out of the picture and children under the bus.  Parents of this district and every district should make sure that school board policies have been updated and that the administrators are following the school board policies!!!  It’s likely time for a little court action in Prior Lake-Savage.

 Former Prior Lake Mayor, Wes Mader, stated what many parents are feeling, “Until the district stops filtering, censoring or limiting what parents and the public are entitled to know, many will continue to question their motives and actions. If the board doesn’t restore accountability and transparency to the district, lack of trust will continue, which is a sad state of affairs for students, teachers, residents, and tax payers.”

Prior Lake-Savage Middle School Year End Survey 2018 *REQUIRED

Prior Lake survey 2018 pg 1

Prior Lake survey 2018 pg 2

Prior Lake survey 2018 pg 3

Prior Lake survey 2018 pg 4

Prior Lake survey 2018 pg 5

MACC ALERT! MN Public Online Schools Push Home School Bill/ MACC & HSLDA Oppose

MACC ALERT!!!  Parents, we need your help in the morning – Monday, 3.26.2018.  A Minnesota bill is being pushed on home schoolers via Crosslake Community School and the online public schools across the state.  Home schoolers, by definition,  have chosen to educate by different as well as similar methods and curricula than the public schools.  MACC supports public, private and home schooling. (Call information below!)

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is opposing this House File (HF) 3886 (Rep. Dale Lueck) and Senate File (SF) 3335 (Sen. Carrie Ruud).  Link to HSLDA opposition.   https://hslda.org/legislation/?vvsrc=%2fBills

The Senate-side bill will be heard in the Senate E-12 Finance Committee at 3:00pm in the Minnesota Senate Building, Room 1100.   During the hearing in the first Senate Committee, Sen. Ruud introduced the Director of Online Programs for Crosslake Community School and stated she was representing, “statewide online learning programs and home school families, ” and yet, no home school families were present.  There was no mention of how many homeschool families from Aitkin County were involved.

  1.  This bill opens the door to further blurring of the lines between home schools and public schools.
  2.  The bill expands the definition of home schooling to include online public school and its funding into state law going beyond shared time.
  3.  The majority of home schoolers want little to no involvement with required federal and state agendas.
  4.  Home schoolers were not asked their opinions of the bills.
  5.   The bill needs more clarity to understand the true intentions.
  6.   The bill should be amended to read, “EXCLUDE HOME SCHOOL.”

Please call Monday, 3.262018 prior to 3:00pm (Monday morning is the best)!  State to the legislator, “Vote NO on SF 3335.  Home schoolers do not want state or federal funding for public school.  Please amend the bill to EXCLUDE HOME SCHOOL.”  Please remember that the authors are carrying the bill for online schools and may not have considered the opinions of home schoolers.  

Carrie Ruud  651-296-4913                       Dale Lueck   651-296-2365  Carla Nelson, Chair  651-296-4848       Gary Dahms, Vice-Chair        Charles Wiger, DFL Lead  651-296-6820                                                              Paul Anderson  651-296-9261     Roger Chamberlain 651-296-1253  Justin Eichorn 651-296-7079       Patricia Torres Ray 651-296-4274   David Tomassoni 651-296-8017  Eric Pratt 651-296-4123       Melissa Wicklund 651-297-8061                                                                       

Minnesota Online Academies Sell Children’s Personal Information? The Dangers of Selling Human Capital

   

 

Minnesota Online Academies Sell Children’s Personal Information?  The Dangers of Selling Human Capital                                  by Linda Bell

MACC learned a great deal about the dangerous uses of student data through our work on the Student Data Privacy Act over the last four years.  Students are placed in a very risky situation as their personal information is falling into inimical hands. Schools along with their 3rd party online providers are knowingly allowing students’ information to be sold as human capital and by all accounts as a way to appease tech and ed tech providers. Talk to your school’s technology director now and demand to see the third-party contracts.  There should be 35 to 45 annually.  If passed, our bill to protect public and private school’s student privacy will not take effect until the 2019-2020 school year.  Thus, parent beware!

What data is collected?

 Data collected from online curriculum providers, online storage systems, apps and include name, photo, address, phone, email, bus stop as well as feelings, opinions and values collected via hundreds of surveys embedded in online curriculum and other technology storage retainers.

What happens to that data?

 The sharing and selling, especially the selling, of data is pure gold for technology and other online businesses.  Many tech companies earn more money off the sharing/selling of personal data than the products they offer.  Personal student information can be sold over and over.  Data is used for advertising and targeted marketing and identity theft.  However, many more nefarious practices are connected with student data like pedophilia and sex slavery.  Using student private information is the business of Human Capital.

US Department of Education: Do not share or sell PII. US DOE rules against a school and technology provider for first time since 2012.

In January 2018, we learned of a recent violation of the federal FERPA law by the Agora Cyber-Charter School and their contracted online curriculum provider, K12, Inc.  The US Department of Education determined that, “Agora had entered into a third-party contract constituting an unlawful forfeiture of a parent’s right under FERPA to protect against unauthorized disclosure of personally identifiable information from her child’s education record.”

 About privacy statements/terms of service

 The US DOE ruling was published in November 2017.  According to the K12, Inc’s own 2018 website, their privacy statement or terms of service have not changed.  K12s terms of service policy continues to state, “By posting or submitting Member Content to this Site, you grant K12 and its affiliates and licensees the right to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, distribute, have distribute, and promote the content in any form, anywhere and for any purpose.”

 Are there violations in Minnesota?

Since the most recent privacy statement/terms of service of K12, Inc. remains constant even in the face of a US DOE ruling, schools and students in Minnesota are also at risk.  The short answer is unless the school has negotiated the contract and amended the contract to protect children. K12, Inc works a great deal with “online academies.”  The following research was conducted on the K12, Inc. website, a foreign business.

Minnesota Virtual Academy, Houston Public Schools

Insight MN, Brooklyn Center

IQ Minnesota, Fergus Falls

Minnesota Online Academy, Statewide

Link12 Lakeville, Lakeville Schools

VIBE Academy, Statewide

K12 International Academy, Worldwide

The Keystone School, Worldwide

George Washington Univ. Online High School, Worldwide

All of these online schools utilize K12, Inc. for curriculum and therefore, are subject to the contract language of K12.  IF these schools are not negotiating their 3rd party contract with K12, Inc, they too are in violation of federal law.

What other violations of law in Minnesota?

 K12, Inc. is but one example which is miniscule in relation to the universe of enumerable third-party contractors and click-wrap agreements working with schools.  All public schools used online curriculum, online testing, online screening and other online education resources.  All are data collectors.  Schools are working with tens of thousands of online providers.

Minnesota needs good foundational protections for toddlers through teens.  Children have no voice at the table. Data selling begins in early education (2 and 3 year olds).  We are ever hopeful that the adults in our society – our parents, teachers and legislators will take the stand to protect children’s identities and, in some cases, their very lives.  Please contact your constituent legislator (senator and representative) to support “Rep. Lucero’s HF 1507.”