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My Recent Comments
DOE thinks a handful of people who sit on civic associations are speak for the entire community. At the DOE Joint Public Hearing on Wed. Oct. 23 at MVBHS, at 4 civic associations local to MVBHS stated they are against co-location. The education groups in D26 that represent the D26 parents, PTAs, students and teachers are against the co-location. At the Oct. 23 meeting it was clear D26's Community District Education Council was against the co-location and the D26 consortium of D26 PTAs (known as Presidents Council) was against co-location. The high school's PTA and SLT were also against the co-location. These groups are populated with leaders who know what is happening in education because they have children in the school system. They all recognize co-location isn't good for anybody in D26.
In fact, if the co-location is approved on Wed. Oct. 30th by the PEP panel, then D26 can blame the Glen Oaks Village Coop et al when the DOE rams the next co-location into K-5 or middle school in the district, or places a charter school inside the district boundaries. Oct 24, 2013
Use this search tool to find the IRS annual returns for the Young Leadership Institute and browse through this group's returns for the last 4 years. You don't have to be an accountant to question WHY board of this nonprofit would pay their one salaried employee $100,000 one year, then $50,000 the next year. The salary paid out is greater than this nonprofit's assets.
http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/990finder/Jul 20, 2013
Also, the Chronicle got the name of the inBloom chief product officer incorrect. Her name is Sharren Bates. See her bio from inBloom for her credentials to recruit a ton of software companies to design products and portals to help parents teach Johnny how to read, write and do math.
"As Chief Product Officer, Sharren Bates is responsible for the vision, strategy, design and development of all inBloom products and services.
Prior to joining inBloom in February 2013, Sharren’s excitement about the power of personalized learning and deep understanding of barriers to entry and innovation in the sector led her to her previous role as Senior Program Officer on the Next Generation Models team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There she was one of the Foundation’s lead representatives on the Shared Learning Collaborative, and spearheaded the development of the inBloom technology services.
Prior to the Gates Foundation, Sharren worked on education policy at the federal level as an education analyst working on the National Broadband Plan at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Previously, she led the New York City Department of Education’s Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS) team, launching an integrated data reporting and collaboration system for the city’s 90,000 teachers and approximately 800,000 parents.
Sharren has been working at the intersection of education policy, classroom practice, and technology for the past eight years, and draws on fifteen years cross-industry experience delivering high-quality large-scale technology projects on time and on budget. She lives in New York with her husband."Jun 21, 2013
[ohmy] I attended this meeting and prior to attending I reviewed Ken Wagner's (NYSED) March 2013 memo that he sent to NYS and NYC educators explaining the state's Education Data Portal and it's relationship with inBloom. I also took the time to research the initial IRS annual return of inBloom and the public literature concerning its creation and unique financial and staff relationships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of NY.
I think what parents and the public should object to is the process by which these huge decisions are made at the state and city government levels. The Chief Product Officer of inBloom used to have high level management relationship with ARIS. Why would the public (and after all it is our tax dollars that support NYCDOE and NYSED) trust an executive who has ties to a $10million dollar problematic system (ARIS) to oversee the recruitment and payment of vendors who will develop the software system that drive inBloom? She also has substantial private foundation ties to the foundations funding this project.
If I owned an education software company, I would be salivating at the revenue projections of selling a service to inBloom or later down the road, NYC DOE. inBloom was created as a 501C3 to eventually generate its own earned income if it fails to receive enough public support to maintain salaries and other expenses. Foundations that support inBloom get a tax deduction. Individuals who donate to inBloom get a tax deduction. Corporations that support inBloom can deduct their funding because inBloom was created as a 501C3. When a fundraiser imagines inBloom's income over the next 5 to 10 years, it's impossible to not to come to the conclusion, inBloom REQUIRES an earned income business plan to survive as a 501C3.
Ken Wagner raised the issue of public and private lawsuits against NYSED and NYC DOE if there is a data breach. He says the State is responsible for any data breaches AND carefully explained to the audience that the liability to a non-profit organization was up to $1 million dollars. Mr. Wagner advised the public that, of course, we have our own recourse to (sue?) if there is a data breach. A limitation on inBloom's liability should there be data breaches should be further examined by the public.
Regarding the public's request to give parents the options to opt out of sharing their child's data. Clearly this has not happened yet in any state that is developing an EDP with the federal Race To The Top money. Neither Ken Wagner NYSED or the NYC DOE Deputy or inBloom's Chief Product Officer offered any satisfactory or informative response to this opt-out option. It's almost like they were too LAZY as policy makers to investigate this option.
My takeaway from this meeting is that we need to keep an eye on public-private partnerships (or government agencies relinquishing the majority control over their projects to private foundations and private corporations). It was NOT GOOD when Ken Wagner of the government described this EDP process as "an experiment" and when he was not able to come up with the academic research that showed data portals actually create better teachers and better students.
Wagner's experiences have been with the state's much smaller school districts. He did not show a familiarity with the much bigger operating systems of NYC's public schools or our classroom issues... His presentation focused more on the government's ability to share student data should students move out of NYC's school district to an upstate school district. His presentation spent more time touting the potential administrative savings with one system that would combine programming efforts for school bus lines, ELLs, free lunch, suspensions & discipline data, attendances, blue card data, grades, test results, vocational expectations, etc. So if this data is collected from your child's pre-K to grad 12 activities, you can imagine the concerns parents have over data breaches or potential future issues in EDP/inBLOOM inadvertently providing vendors with inappropriate access. It doesn't matter that SSNs are not included -- the child's name, address and family's name, phone and location is included in the record.
Wagner provided a scanty description of how this database and it's data portals would actually be used by a NYC public school teacher. It's clear to me that Ken Wagner is right... the state's efforts to create an EDP and the creation of inBloom is an experiment. It's one of a long line of social and government experiments. The state and city should respond to the public's concerns over privacy and data breaches and focus significant effort on responding to questions about WHY we cannot set up an opt out version for the NYC school district.
Jun 21, 2013