Less than a week after More Than a Score’s November 21, 2013 forum challenging plans to share Chicago student data with inBloom, Chicago Public Schools announced that it will not share data with inBloom, and will instead only send student data to the state-run program called ISLE (Illinois Shared Learning Environment.).
MTAS members had met earlier with CPS Vice-President Jesse Ruiz and key CPS staffers to share our concerns about the inBloom data sharing program. Members also met with the editorial boards of the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times. Also attending the editorial board meetings were forum guest speakers Leonie Haimson, a New York City parent activist who has led a national effort to stop inBloom, and Kurt Hilgendorf, a CTU staffer who sits on an advisory committee for ISLE.
MTAS is cautiously optimistic about this outcome, but we will continue to monitor and report on ISLE as well as other data collection activities.
But how is sharing sensitive student data with Illinois Shared Learning Environment that much different than sharing it with inBloom? Don’t we still have an issue with student privacy?
Yes, we think there is likely to be problems with ISLE as well; on the plus side, ISLE will be built and run by a government agency rather than a private organization like InBloom. On the minus side, the gutting of FERPA means that the constraints on the usage of data are very weak even for a government agency. MTAS is continuing to pursue this issue. Please check our FB page where our monthly meetings are announced; we would love to have more collaborators on our data privacy work.