This data-gathering plan is another example of the overreaching dictatorial bureaucracy trying to restrict parents' rights over the care and upbringing of their own children. The liberals really mean it when they say they want the village (i.e., the government) to raise and teach children, control their school curriculum and ultimately decide what adult job they can get.
The people who seek to control the lives and education of our children should be restrained from implementing this plan by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), formerly known as the Buckley Amendment, which passed in 1974. FERPA states that school and college records cannot be disclosed, or transferred to other agencies, without consent of the parents of kids under age 18 or the student if over 18, unless the information is not personally identifiable or other exceptions apply.
Both the No Child Left Behind law, which applies to elementary and secondary schools, and the Higher Education Act, which applies to colleges, reaffirmed FERPA's prohibition on the government developing a national or interagency database of personal information on students. But the Obama administration is now trying to get around FERPA by the subterfuge of having the states build the databases and assign each child a different ID number.
States are bribed to participate in this vast data collection by grants from a pot of federal money and by the threat of withholding other federal grants if states don't comply.
The Obama administration looks upon schools and colleges as giant reservoirs of young people who can be indoctrinated with "social justice" (i.e., America is somehow an oppressive, unjust society), multiculturalism instead of patriotism, and diversity in moral and immoral behaviors.
The people and groups working to achieve national control of education curriculum view the collection of enormous amounts of personal information about every student on a longitudinal basis, with tracking from "pre-birth" and preschool through postgraduate experience and into the labor force, as the essential path to achieve control of school curriculum and to guide kids' opinions about America.
This type of collection of personal information on all children is the mark of a totalitarian state, not a free America. It is reminiscent of the notorious "dangan" or dossier that Communist China maintains on every citizen (in folders stacked in giant warehouses in the pre-computer age), with complete information on every child through his years of school, which is then available to his employer when the kid goes into the labor force.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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