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Nevada Spends on Kids’ Data, Not on Kids

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Author: dianeravitch

Angie Sullivan, elementary teacher in Nevada, reports that the state finally put new money into the schools. But not for children or instruction. For Big Data.

Nevada is systematically destroying its public schools. It has authorized charters, some of the lowest performing in the nation. It has adopted a universal voucher program, whose only requirement is that the student previously attended public school for 100 days. It is already one of the worst-funded public school systems in the nation.

Angie writes:

“We spent money.

“And it’s another computer database.

“And it doesn’t work yet.

And we are supposed to believe it is for our safety?

“And this will be necessary and important to who since it is not supposed to have any identifiable information? People outside the state who do not care about our kids?

“These are my questions:

“1. Does this database include charters which use tax payer money?

“2. Does this database include voucher recipients (homeschoolers and private schoolers) who use tax payer money?

“3. Does this database include for-profit and non-profit higher education – especially if students at those institutions have students benefitting from government loans?

“It would be difficult to be transparent and accountable unless every group using tax payer money was included.

“Especially if the purpose is to make every child participate in a longitudinal invasive study from preschool to career – possibly death.

“Sometimes I really worry. And this is one of those times.

“The privacy invasion and labeling is not helpful or necessary for me as a teacher or to my students.

“Statistical sampling has been used on purpose for good reason – routinely documenting everything and paying large amounts to store it or compare kids all over the nation at very young ages is weird and scary.

“For ten years we have over tested and over documented and it has helped ZERO kids. We are doing worse than we did before testing and becoming data driven. Across the nation, these number based reforms are failing.

“We are doing worse – money is being spent on the wrong remedies using assumptions based on numbers and return on investment formulas.

“My students are more than a score.

“I need supplies and support more than I need another database. And teachers need to be using best practice and spend almost all the instructional day on instruction -not preparing for a test or a report for a politician who does not know their name.

“These numbers have not helped me or my students get things we actually need and we have waited 15 years.

“God help us all – creating a record that follows babies into adulthood. What for?

“I’m so worried.


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