May 162013
 
 May 16, 2013  Featured News, Youth & Schools

WRCB reports:

Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order Wednesday which prohibits the state from collecting or sharing with the federal government any personally identifiable data on students or their families.

The order focuses on multiple areas of education and points out that intrusive data tracking is an invasion of privacy and the federal government has no constitutional right to determine how children in the State of Georgia should be educated.

Read more on WRCB.

The text of the Executive Order reads as follows:

WHEREAS:  The federal government has no constitutional right to determine how children in the State of Georgia will be educated; and

WHEREAS: The Georgia Constitution provides that an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia; and

WHEREAS: Education is economic development and strong schools are the only proven route to tomorrow’s good jobs; and

WHEREAS: Intrusive data tracking is an invasion of student rights.

NOW, THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA, IT IS HEREBY

ORDERED: That no educational standards shall be imposed on Georgia by the federal government.

                                                IT IS FURTHER

ORDERED: That all decisions regarding curriculum and instruction shall be made at the local level.

                                                IT IS FURTHER

ORDERED: That all proposed state education standards shall be posted for public review and comment for at least 60 days.  Any proposed changes to state educational standards of any magnitude shall be posted for public review and comment for at least 60 days.  Any comments received during the notice period of educational standards adoption or modification shall be made public.  All education standards shall be voted on in a public meeting.

                                                IT IS FURTHER

ORDERED: That no personally identifiable data on students and/or their families’ religion, political party affiliation, biometric information, psychometric data and/or voting history shall be collected, tracked, housed, reported or shared with the federal government.

                                                IT IS FURTHER

ORDERED: That no student data shall be collected for the purpose of the development of commercial products or services.

This __15th__ day of May, 2013.

While the student privacy aspect is certainly attractive, keeping the federal government out of educational issues totally has some drawbacks, particularly if you, like me, follow cases pursued by the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights, which has investigated Georgia districts over segregation and discrimination claims. Barring districts from sharing data with the federal government may result in students in special education and minority students having less protections and fewer services than they currently have.  The Executive Order would also seemingly permit local districts to decide to teach the Bible and not evolution, and to teach that homosexuality is bad, etc.

So privacy interests notwithstanding, I think this Executive Order is very problematic.

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