Common Core State Standards, the Longitudinal Data System, and changes to FERPA are analogous to the barrel, receiver, and magazine of a gun. Each component currently is being designed and built separately through federal grants, monetary incentives, contract terms and conditions, and regulations. As separate components, they pose no threat to anyone. However, if they are assembled and loaded with bullets (individual personal data), the government has a weapon which can be used for either good purposes (police enforcement) or bad purposes (armed robbery).
By diminishing the potential interrelationship of these three components, the Virginia education community can state truthfully that currently no integrated system exists. However, when a nationalized curriculum is imposed through changes to federal and state laws, integrated with underlying, interoperable state longitudinal data systems, and connected to the States’ underlying data, the integrated system becomes a tool that can be used for good or evil, depending upon the hands into which it is placed. Such a scenario is not farfetched, as we have seen with federal imposition of the health care law and other laws which have been historically left to the states.
This fact needs to be recognized now, and an appropriate legal or state constitutional framework put in place that precludes the ability of the Federal government to assemble this weapon.
To this end, VEC’s near term objectives are:
- Stop the unlawful usurpation by the Federal government of the state’s role in the definition of public school curriculum;
- Prevent the centralized collection and use of individual student and parent data by the Federal government that could be used for purposes other than educational;
- Protect both individual and family educational rights and privacy; and
- Promote free market-based educational reform that makes our schools and students better critical thinkers and more globally competitive.