Common Core News

Arizonans Against Common Core

For those of you interested in/or against the ‘Common Core’ standards, here is a website for those against it!

Common Core Data?

Can schools use a parent’s opposition to Common Core against them? Is there an attempt to prevent parents from learning about the data collected on their children due to Common Core? In the case of a Nevada father, one or both of those scenarios seem to be exactly the case.
John Eppolito is a former educator. He is now a real estate agent in Lake Tahoe by day and a very active Common Core opponent at night. He leads a group called Stop Common Core Nevada and is well known in his area for his fierce opposition to this federal takeover of the education system with national standards. Beyond that, he is very concerned about the collection of data regarding every student and exactly what happens to that data.
Due to these concerns, he approached  Nevada’s Department of Education about the data collected on his four children. Since there is nothing, at least right now, that can be done to stop collection of the data, he wanted to know exactly what data about his children the district is keeping.
The state agreed to comply with his request, but said it would cost him a fee. They also told him there was no way to run custom reports on students, so in order to get the information he requested, he would have to pay for programming and the running of a custom report. The total amount, they said, would be $10,194.
FOX News reports on this seeming extortion of a parent who is simply concerned about Common Core.
According to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents have the right to review their kids’ records. Small fees are allowed to be issued for records unless they in any way prevent them from obtaining them.
“Unless the imposition of a fee effectively prevents a parent or eligible student from exercising the right to inspect and review the student’s education records, an educational agency or institution may charge a fee for a copy of an education record which is made for the parent or eligible student,” reads a section of the act. “An educational agency or institution may not charge a fee to search for or to retrieve the education records of a student.”
According to the regulations, the requests and its criteria apply to “Any state educational agency and its components.”
Eppolito said that $10,000 is certain reason enough to prevent a parent from getting the data. He also objects to the ability of others to access the data, but parents cannot. Well, they can, at a hefty price tag.
The justification for the $10,000 charge, according to the Department of Education, is that their system is not designed to run individual reports.
“Because the SAIN system is not designed to create reports that display individual student data in a readable format, the parent was initially told that the requested reports do not exist and cannot be produced,” reads the sheet viewed by “Upon continued insistence from the parent, [Nevada Department of Education] staff assessed how much programming time would be required to write new queries and develop a data table to create readable reports for the parent. Staff determined that it would take at least 3 weeks (120 hours) of dedicated programming time to fulfill the parent’s request. At the applicable wage rate of $84.95/hour, the requested work resulted in a $10,194 price tag.”
So, with Common Core in Nevada, data being collected on students is not accessible to parents, unless you cough up a huge chunk of money. Given the exorbitant amount the district wants to charge parents to access data kept on their student, an amount out of reach for the vast majority, what exactly is the district trying to hide? If Common Core has been implemented in your area, would you encounter the same extortion tactic from the school district to simply find out what shareable data is being collected on your child?


Posted by Jose Borrajero
on February 17, 2014 at 12:59pm
in AZ Legislation

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