Yet the statement issued by inBloom’s CEO reeks of arrogance and condescension, and makes it clear that those in charge still have not learned any lessons from this debacle. The fervent opposition to inBloom among parents throughout the country did not result from “misunderstandings”, but inBloom‘s utter inability to provide a convincing rationale that would supercede the huge risks to student security and privacy involved.
Contrary to the claims of Iwan Streichenberger and others, InBloom was not designed to protect student privacy but the opposite: to facilitate the sharing of children’s personal and very sensitive information with data-mining vendors, with no attention paid to the need for parental notification or consent, and this is something that parents will not stand for. In New York, the last state to pull out of inBloom and the only one in which legislation was needed to do so, parents were joined by superintendents and teachers in pointing out that the risks to children’s privacy and safety far outweighed any educational benefits.
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Update - in the interest of accuracy, no, it was not the Gates Foundation who shut down inBloom (wink, wink). It was the CEO. Nothing like $100M down the drain.
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After New York state, as the last state standing in partnership with inBloom, left last month, inBloom announced today they were shutting down.
This - is - HUGE.
“I have made the decision to wind down the organization over the coming months,” CEO Iwan Streichenberger said in a letter on the company’s website. “It wasn’t an easy decision, and the unavailability of this technology is a real missed opportunity for teachers and school districts seeking to improve student learning.”
“It is a shame that the progress of this important innovation has been stalled because of generalized public concerns about data misuse, even though inBloom has world-class security and privacy protections that have raised the bar for school districts and the industry as a whole,” the company wrote today.
Oh, "generalized" concerns? Like millions of children's data, from states around the country, store in one place? A hacker's dream. But again, it is not Obama's children, nor Gates, nor Duncan's.
That "raised the bar" issue is right, though. Most districts are not doing enough and I believe SPS is one of them. I will have a report soon comparing what the Department of Education says are best practices and what SPS actually does. That it was reported at the A&F meeting that the district does not have a district-wide procedure on employee data is one glaring issue.
Power to the people, right on.