May 18, 2018

The National Pulse – 6 Key Takeaways from Congress’ Hearing on Protecting Student Data

Share this...
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter

 

In this article, Dr. Effrem discusses and highlights aspects of the May 17 congressional hearing regarding student data protection.

1.) More leaders are realizing the need to reduce the amount of student data collected.

By far, the best witness from a parental rights and pro-privacy perspective was David Couch, Chief Information Officer for the Kentucky Department of Education. A former military cyber security expert, his most cogent remarks had to do with decreasing the amount of data collected:

2.) School districts are making a valiant effort to protect data, but it’s a difficult task.

Dr. Gary Lilly of the Bristol, Tenn., school district highlighted various efforts to protect student data. These include background checks on employees and limiting access to data depending on employee role. Both Lilly and Couch discussed the need for more training for teachers and administrative personnel to avoid inadvertently releasing personally identifiable information via spreadsheets or phishing attacks.

3.) The corporate and foundation Big Data interests were well represented.

Amelia Vance, director of education privacy at the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) was one of the witnesses. FPF is a creation of many of the biggest, worst actors on the privacy front, including the Gates Foundation, Google, and Facebook. She spoke about how necessary it is for taxpayers to spend more money training school districts and corporations to properly protect privacy.

You can view the full article at The National Pulse here.

The National Pulse – “Stunning” Report: Parkland Superintendent Misled Public About Shooter’s Past

Share this...
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter

In this article, Dr. Effrem discusses accusations against Broward County authorities for not recognizing shooter Nicolas Cruz’s harmful tendencies,

Despite statements to the contrary by Broward County, Fla., Superintendent Robert Runcie and Sheriff Scott Israel, it has now been reported by WLRN that the Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had in fact been involved in the controversial PROMISE school discipline program. PROMISE, launched in 2013, stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports and Education.

Runcie had stated in April, “Nikolas Cruz, the shooter that was involved in this horrific accident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, had no connection to the PROMISE program.” Yet, according to an admission by Broward district officials this past Sunday, Cruz did in fact receive a “referral to PROMISE after he vandalized a bathroom at the middle school on Nov. 25, 2013.”

This revelation also comes after some of the survivors have announced their intention to sue the school district and sheriff’s office for negligence related to their handling of the massacre, the lack of safety in Broward schools due to the PROMISE program, and the failure to act on the many violent and threatening incidents involving Cruz.

Continue reading »

The National Pulse – Florida Seeks to Expand Ineffective Mental Health Screening in Schools

Share this...
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter

 

In her recent article for the National Pulse, Dr. Effrem discusses the failings of mental health data collection surrounding recent school violence.

The Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) held a conference to discuss how to expand school-based mental health that was attended by the state’s 67 superintendents as well as several legislators and agency heads.

Broward County Superintendent and FADSS president Robert Runcie led the meeting. Runcie was superintendent during the February 2018 shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Runcie and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel are under intense scrutiny for ignoring or downplaying violent acts and threats by many students, including shooter Nikolas Cruz.

School officials ignored multiple felonious threats that Cruz made to various students, despite reports of them to those officials. Teachers and other school staff all over the country have noted how unsafe schools have become since the trend of not reporting school violence based on race and disability status — an approach pioneered in Broward County — spread nationwide under the Obama administration. Also, as previously reported, Cruz was well known to the mental health system, having been in an alternative school due to behavior problems; had been medicated for ADHD; and was being treated for depression, possibly with medication, at the time of his crimes.

As in the Texas situation, mental health data mining is a big deal. Superintendents from small, rural counties were told that in order to keep the money spigot open, the outcomes data for their mental health programs is “essential.” What the superintendents and legislators do not understand is how subjective and inaccurate mental health data and surveys that pull students into these programs — particularly screening and social emotional learning (SEL) surveys, as well as universal behavioral modification and outcome data — can be. We have previously discussed the Columbia Teen Screen survey that was only correct about 16 percent of time in accurately finding teens that actually had mental health issues requiring follow-up (called the Positive Predictive Value or PPV). Another review showed that only two of nine commonly used depression screening scales had a PPV at fifty percent, or no better than a coin flip.

You may read the full article here.

Apr 25, 2018
ELW

Education Liberty Watch Supporting Day of Silence Walkout

Share this...
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter

 

An important event is designed to protest and counter the rapid erosion of parental rights in schools around GLBT issues and is happening on Friday, April 27th.  The Day of Silence Walkout is promoted by nearly four dozen national and state organizations, including the American Family Association, the Illinois Family Institute, Liberty Counsel, The Child Protection League, and Education Liberty Watch. The walkout is intended to counter the disruption of class time by students and or teachers that will remain silent during an entire day to promote the political agenda of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and “its controversial, unproven, and destructive theories on the nature and morality of homosexuality.”

 

Parents are being urged to call their children out of school if their high school, and an increasing number of middle schools, allow students and or teachers to remain silent during instructional time on this day. The goals are to “actively oppose this hijacking of the classroom for political purposes;” to “reclaim a proper understanding of the role, and limits of public education;” and to “de-politicize the learning environment.” Parents are given a host of resources on the site to deal with the logistics of participation and the reasoning behind it.

Parents, Teachers, and Administrators: What to Do on Day of Silence

Reasons for the Day of Silence Walkout

Instructions for Parents

Sample Call Out Letter

This is a great opportunity to assert parental rights and to protect children’s innocence. Please join the movement!

Pages:«12345678...75»