Education Liberty Watch, American Principles Project, & Eagle Forum lead national coalition urging Congress to protect data & psychological privacy.
“General education and labor databases should not be collecting and storing sensitive, subjective social, emotional, psychological and behavioral data,” said Dr. Karen Effrem, a pediatrician, President of Education Liberty Watch, an education writer at APP’s news publication, The National Pulse, and Director of Education for Eagle Forum. “Psychological data related to behavioral, mental health, or special education concerns should be gathered after informed consent and treated with the same care and confidentiality as medical data, with appropriate sharing with law enforcement as needed under current statutes. If this had been done in the Parkland situation, that horrific tragedy could have been avoided.”
- Do whatever is possible to decrease the amount of data collected on students, especially social-emotional learning (SEL) data. Collection of such data should be eliminated or at the very least a) not collected without informed opt-in parental consent and b) be treated as medical data.
- Treat whatever mental health, social emotional, or behavioral data collected for special-education evaluations or any other related program, such as Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) or Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), as medical data that cannot be housed in longitudinal databases.
- Use aggregate rather than individual data to the greatest extent possible.
- Obtain parental consent if data collected for one purpose is to be repurposed or shared with another federal agency.
- Eliminate the current language in FERPA allowing predictive testing.
- The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal is affecting students and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is testing and planning to manipulate the same personality traits in students involved in the Facebook dust-up.
- Just this week, there was another major scandal with Pearson committing psychological experiments on college students without consent.
- The National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development is pushing for social emotional learning (SEL) to be involved in school safety issues, which will not help.
- Mental screening programs with all of their subjectivity and inaccuracy are starting to pop up all over the country, such as those discussed in Texas.
- Efforts to increase data sharing with corporations, researchers and among federal agencies without consent in Congress through the Foundations for Evidence-based Policy Making Act and the College Transparency Act are also being pushed by the data grabbers.