Some NY Data Mining Updates

I am working really hard to try to organize some info on the NY State (and local school district) data mining efforts. Part of my delay is because I can’t get any info out of my local school district about this topic and trying to search through state web sites, PDFs and other materials is mind-numbing. I figure they made it that way so no one would bother looking and questioning these practices.

In this week’s research, I came across these nice tid-bits:

1.  New York City Comptroller, John C. Liu: DOE’S $67 MILLION TECH LEMON HURTS SPECIAL EDUCATION

Online Database Required For Medicaid Reimbursement Is Riddled with Errors, Dissatisfied Users, Audit Finds;

This is the section of the report I found the most disturbing:

DOE Has Not Ensured Student Data is Secure
The DOE has not ensured that the confidential student data in the internet-based SESIS is secure. DOE’s contract leaves responsibility for protecting student data with the vendor, Maximus Inc., which created the system and runs it from sites outside the City. Although DOE has the right to conduct a security audit of Maximus’ operations and its hosting sites it has not done so. Instead, DOE has relinquished control of SESIS and the student data it contains to Maximus.

Shut it down. No hearings, or open discussion, or debate. Just shut it down. You can’t guarantee that this sensitive student data is secure? Game over. Sound familiar? I’m looking at you inBloom and NYSED.

2. Here’s a great recent post about “data mining in the classroom”. Read a teacher’s perspective on this nonsense.

From the comments of user jwnich179 there:

Teachers and parents are going to have to join together to restore their own proper authority over education. These data systems have been put in place with the primary purpose of overriding our judgment in assessing and guiding our children.

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