Category Archives: personally identifiable information

ALERT: Kerkhoven-Sunburg-Murdock (KMS) School District to offer “National School Climate Center” Survey This Week to Elementary Students

6th grade photo

ALERT: Kerkhoven-Sunburg-Murdock (KMS) School District to offer “National School Climate Center” Survey to its Elementary Students. This article is a re-post of the same survey from this past spring given to Orono schools. Again, if you are concerned about data collection and the nature of questions, parents may opt their child OUT. KMS is said to distribute the survey to students THIS WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th and 9th, 2015.  Other districts may be offering the survey, also.

This article is a re-post of the same survey from this past spring given to Orono schools.   Again, if you are concerned about data collection and the nature of questions, parents may opt their child OUT.   KMS is said to distribute the survey to students THIS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 2015.

WELCOME to our third in a series of Minnesota Surveys on Parade!  We have collected a lot of surveys.  Have you seen these surveys in your public or private school?   Not only do they take up precious classroom time but also may have been distributed without parental consent.   This one is from Orono Schools.  Surveys are given weekly. Feel free to mail us your surveys at info@MNagainstCC.com.

“This is not a test!  We just want to know how you feel!”

by Anne Taylor

National School Climate Center (NSCI):  NSCI is an organization that helps schools integrate a climate that is safe and supportive while nurturing social and emotional, ethical, and academic skills.  According to the NSCI web-site, the aim is to enhance student performance, prevent drop outs, reduce physical violence, bullying, and develop healthy and positively engaged adults.

NSCI works with the entire academic community including teachers and staff as well as school-based mental health professionals.  Students are told, “This is not a test!  We just want to know how you feel.”  According to NSCI’s website, the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center recognizes CSCI as a reliable and valid measurement tool.  This is very telling who exactly is collecting your child’s answers.

For those of you convinced the survey may be a good thing, I would ask: What if the child didn’t understand the question, marked an answer incorrectly, or thought it would be funny to mark the worst possible answer?  Well, that answer is now recorded.

And while it is stated on the first page of the survey that answers are
anonymous and “no one from the school will ever see your answers and no identifying information,” in the world of technology we know that ALL technology IS completely traceable.

In 2015, 6th graders in the Orono school district were asked in the
questionnaire several times sexual orientation and gender.  This made some parents feel uncomfortable as some of the questions were not deemed developmentally appropriate for all students, and could be considered ‘grooming’ if the child has not been exposed to this language.

Again, if the parent did NOT receive information on the option to opt-out, that child likely participated in the survey under what is called “passive consent.”  We will be discussing this more at length in another article soon.

CLASSROOM TIME USED:  20 Minutes

You can check the NSCI website here:
http://www.schoolclimate.org/climate/csci.php

MAIN orono survey 2015 6th grade

1 orono 2015 6th grade survey

 

2 orono 2015 6th grade survey

orono survey 6th grade

Immediate Action: Call Today on Sen Kiffmeyer’s Survey Bill Amendment

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ATTENTION MACC MEMBERS!!  CALL TO ACTION!!  SF1495

A special thank you to Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, who is offering an Amendment regarding the excessive volume of surveys given to our children.  This Amendment requires an “Opt In” instead of an “Opt Out” as is the practice now.  We have heard many stories about surveys that are occurring with “passive” consent.  These surveys may contain offensive subject matter and/or take up far too much classroom time.  We are very concerned with the intrusive collection of data on our children as well as a lack of parental notification.  This Amendment will not apply to the MN Student Health Survey, which occurs every 3 years.   The MN Student Health Survey will still have the “opt out” ability.  This is an important start to peeling back the layers of the intrusion in our children’s life, and needs your support.

Please call and email Senator WigerSenate Education Chair ASAP and ask him to please include Senator Kiffmeyer’s Survey Amendment in the Education Policy Bill SF1495.   THE HEARING IS TOMORROW, MARCH 19th, so we need you to act quickly and please take the 5 minutes to do this.   You may use the script template below or create your own.

Senator Wiger can be reached at  (651) 296-6820

sen.chuck.wiger@senate.mn

 Script:

 Hello, my name is _____________________.  I live in __________________, Minnesota.  I am calling today to ask that Senator Wiger include Senator Kiffmeyer’s Student Survey Amendment in the Education Policy bill SF1495, to protect our children from intrusive data collection.  Our children are being asked to answer information on surveys that is beyond their scope of understanding in both content and consequence, while taking away from instruction time and giving data to parties outside of the school.  I am concerned this data exposure puts my child’s personal information at risk, and is something that can affect their future.  The amount of surveys that are occurring are taking away valuable instruction time, and offer no viable educational enhancement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parade of MN Surveys: Minnesota Student Health Survey

School Kids Diversity

Parade of Surveys:  Minnesota Student Health Survey                                   by Anne Taylor

Administered to Grades 5 – 12 every 3 years in every Minnesota school district and private school

Minnesota Student Health Survey (administered every 3 years, from grades 5-12):  Approximately 104 questions in the form of a standardized test. This survey can be administered in pencil/paper, but lately students access surveys via school issued iPads, chrome books or computers.  Students log in using their personal student ID code that links them to the survey.  The Department of Education states that parents and legal guardians are to be notified by their school on the survey, however, many do not receive opt-out
information, or may simply overlook notification.  Parents are given the right to come into the school to view the survey, and may choose to opt their child out from taking it.  Note that data results are shared statewide, in order to evaluate student trends and is used for funding programs that appear to have a greater need based on data results.

*Attached is a PDF of questions asked of 7th grade students in the Spring of 2013 statewide.  Questions asked:  Gender, race, who the student lives with, attitudes about school, homework, values, grades and may include questions of religious views that may impact or change a certain behavior.  IEPs, free & reduced lunch programs, AP, honors or advanced classes. Disabilities and mental health treatment.  Height, weight and physical exercise.  Usage of
alcohol, drugs, cigarettes including E cigarettes.  Family incarceration. Physical and sexual abuse.  Sexual preference and sexual activity, types of birth control, STD’s as well as attitudes on sexual behavior are asked of the high school students.  In 2013, 7th graders were asked if they used a tanning bed and if they were working for pay.

Results of the statewide survey can be found on the Minnesota Department of Human Services website under “MN Student Surveys.”

If you didn’t know to opt your child out of the survey, your child was
automatically opted to participate in taking the survey through what’s called “passive consent.”  No parental notification required.

CLASSROOM TIME USED: 1 hour / 10 pages

MN Health Student Survey pg. 1

 

MN Health Student Survey pg. 3

MN Health Student Survey pg. 4

 

 

MN Health Student Survey pg. 5

MN Health Student Survey pg. 6

MN Health Student Survey pg. 7

MN Health Student Survey pg 8

MN Health Student Survey

MN Health Student Survey pg 10

“It’s Nearly-Spring Minnesota!” Parade of School District Surveys – Matchomatics

High School Students Sitting in Bleachers

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.

Matchomatics pg 1

Matchomatics pg 2