opt out of Race to the Top, a federal grant program, due to concerns about student privacy.The Pearl River School District Board of Education voted Oct. 31 to
Pearl River Schools Superintendent Dr. John Morgano took another step in the hopes of protecting student privacy Wednesday when he sent a letter to the CEO of inBoom, the private company that will be receiving student data from New York State. In the leter, he directed InBloom to delete any Pearl River student data it has received and not to store any district data going forward.
Other districts dropping out of Race to the Top, including South Orangetown, have sent similar directives to InBloom. The list of districts opting out of Race to the Top continues to grow. The deadline, which had been Oct. 31, was extended by the state.
Morgano is sent out a letter to parents Friday to explain the decision and provide updates on the Common Core. The letter is also on the Pearl River School District website here.
"Data collection and analysis have always been used here in Pearl River to make good informed decisions about the needs of our students," Morgano wrote in the letter to parents. "However, we learned from the State Education Department that they will be collecting individual student discipline data and sending it to inBloom. There is no need for a private company to possess a child's discipline history so that it is potentially available to prospective colleges and employers. I will not be a party to th is infringement of privacy rights."
Morgano also addressed ongoing concerns regarding the Common Core, particularly New York State's implementation of the plan. He pointed to ongoing negative responses as New York State Education Commissiner Dr. John King and other state officials hold forums on the Common Core around the state. Read about one such recent forum at Mineola High School on Long Island here.
Morgano pointed out that NYSED is hearing from parents and educators that the implementation of the plan was poor.
"The state began by administering an assessment last year before the curriculum was taught and then continued by providing instructional modules with errors and a number of other concerns that would not have occurred had the implementation been better planned," Morgano write. "Had it been better planned, then we would only be dealing with the actual Learning Standards and making whatever modifications that may have been necessary. Instead we are dealing with many issues."
Morgano distributed sheets with names and contact information for elected state representatives and the 17 members of the New York State Board of Regents and encourages parents to contact them to speak their minds.