May 2, 2016
ELW

Acute Need for Psychological Data Protection Demonstrated by Sexual Orientation Survey

A Florida public school teacher was suspended and then resigned after giving the following “White Privilege” survey in Spanish class that asked questions about sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and disability status:

Collecting data about religious affiliation, but not any of the other parameters in this survey, is a violation of current Florida statute 1002.222:
1002.222 Limitations on collection of information and disclosure of confidential and exempt student records.–

(1) An agency or institution as defined in s. 1002.22(1) may not:

(a) Collect, obtain, or retain information on the political affiliation, voting history, religious affiliation, or biometric information of a student or a parent or sibling of the student…
The Orange County school system said that they do not collect this type of information on their students and rightly suspended this teacher who then resigned. However, this is only one example of controversial curricula, standards, and assessments that are being perpetrated on our children, even young children. Here is an example of a gender identity standard in the Common Core aligned federal Head Start standardswhich governs the new preschool program imposed on the nation in Every Student Succeeds Act:

Here is the definition of Gender Identity from The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in a pre-K curriculum called Making Room in the Circle:
Refers to a person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being either male or female, or something other or in betweenBecause gender identity is internal and personally defined, it is not visible to others.”

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) publishes curriculum discussing gender identity and sexual orientation issues for preschool aged children. Here is an excerpt from their book (Derman-Sparks, L. & Edwards, J. (2010) Washington DC: National Association of Young Children Excerpts from Chapter 7 Learning About Gender Identity and Fairness, p. 91) listing some of the organizational “anti-bias” teaching goals in this area:
Children, regardless of gender, will participate in a wide range of activities necessary for their full cognitive and social-emotional development (Anti-Bias Education [ABE] Goal 1)
Children will demonstrate positive feelings about their gender identity and develop clarity about the relationship between their anatomy and their gender role (ABE Goal 1)
Children will talk about and show respect for the great diversity in appearance, emotional expressiveness, behavior, and gender roles for both boys and girls (ABE Goal 2)
Children will recognize unfair or untrue messages (including invisibility) about gender roles. (ABE Goal 3)
Children will practice skills for supporting gender role diversity in their interactions with peers.
There are many other standards especially for young children that call for teaching and assessing other psychological parameters and use them for student and teacher accountability even though experts in both education and mental health admit that this is very subjective and very difficult to do:
I do not think we should be doing this [using SEL for accountability]; it is a bad idea,” said Angela Duckworth, the MacArthur fellow who has done more than anyone to popularize social-emotional learning, making “grit” — the title of her book to be released in May — a buzzword in schools…She resigned from the board of the group overseeing the California project, saying she could not support using the tests to evaluate school performance. Last spring, after attending a White House meeting on measuring social-emotional skills, she and a colleague wrote a paper warning that there were no reliable ways to do so. “Our working title was all measures suck, and they all suck in their own way,” she said. (Emphasis added)Challenges Involved in Infant and Early Childhood Diagnosis

“Diagnostic classifications for infancy are still being developed and validated…”
“Lack of longitudinal outcome studies”
“Broad parameters for determining socioemotional outcomes are not clearly defined” (Emphasis added)
Many other areas of federal law and policy and global education are promoting social emotional learning (SEL), assessment, and data mining, such as:

The proposed social emotional research in S 227, the Strengthening Education Through Research Act (SETRA)
The plan to assess mindsets and grit in the National Assessment of Educational Progress
The similar plan to assess the same parameters in the PISA international assessment
The many references to social emotional learning, mental health, and assessment in The Every Student Succeeds Act
Competency/Proficiency Based Education, also known as Personalized Learning

It is clear from many sources that the goal is to indoctrinate children into a specific worldview starting at a young age and then use curricular and state assessments to monitor if those viewpoints have been inculcated. Those that do not will have a harder time passing the state tests, getting into college, or getting their desired job. Teachers that do not toe the line will lose their jobs and benefits and schools and districts will lose their funding.If you want to preserve academic education, privacy and freedom of thought, please do the following:

Contact your US House member and tell them they cannot vote for SETRA – S 227 until the social emotional research language is removed and FERPA is updated with psychological profiling protection language. The House is not in session May 2-6, so you can visit their district offices or attend town halls and take some or all of these materials:
one page information sheet on SETRA that you can email or give them.A handout containing the photos and references regarding these social emotional standards discussed above.

list of quotes and references showing how subjective, non-sensical, and even dangerous it is to assess or screen children on social emotional or mental health parameters.

summary of a recent House hearing on privacy and research containing references, conclusions and recommendations.

 Contact your US House member, especially if they are on the Oversight and Government Reform or the Education and Workforce Committees, and tell them that the NAEP planned assessment of mindsets is illegal, unconstitutional, and  unacceptable.
Here is a handout that explains all of the statutory, constitutional, and parental rights problems with this idea.

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