Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tonight: BCC Parents Meeting to Discuss MCPS & Pearson Product Privacy Concerns

Informal meeting on Chromebook and Student Privacy
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm in the Conference room of Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center,
4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. 

We are following up on the Chromebook concerns about our students’ personal information, and also responding to those who emailed us back with similar concerns. 
While waiting for a response from CCES or MCPS, we ran into another, potentially more serious privacy issue: the newly implemented self-registration system for students and patents to sign up for classes online - see the attached file. 
As of Jan. 2015, class selection at Westland Middle School, B-CC High School and throughout MCPS is to be done online by students and parents via a website branded as myMCPS, which is in fact a Pearson’s Student Information System (SIS) PowerSchool. The new registration process was the topic of the recent Westland info sessions at CCES.   We are given till February 14 to register our children for classes for 2015/16 academic year:
By registering the students, unbeknownst to us, we parents, consent to Pearson’s Privacy Policy. Pearson collects and data-mines students’ and parents’ personal information including names, home addresses, social security numbers, phone numbers and student grades, health and disciplinary records. To see these capabilities, visit the Pearson’s Features page and scroll down to Family management, Health Screening, Immunization Screening:
Pearson and Google are companies that refused to sign the voluntary pledge not to collect and sell students’ data proposed by President Obama. Pearson is the company that pioneered the “stealth assessment”- the technology of continuous, secret monitoring and evaluation of student achievement and behavior.
Other school districts that use these providers (Google, Pearson) have been a lot more forthcoming about their practices and have informed the parents proactively:

1 comment:

  1. I hope the new sup cleans house on the technology area at MCPS. We parents and students have been waiting for a decent portal that can provide us information about our kids. What happened with the portal, they talked about it 5 years ago when my son joined the system and he is going to start middle school soon... It seems every new technology that is rolled out is poorly implemented. My next door neighbor son is learning to do division by watching a video in these new chrome books. What is the strategy for these checkbooks? What will they be used for? It's probably going to be just like the promethean boards that never got rolled out properly, and just cost us a ton of money. I think it's time for a new CIO for MCPS,one with a vision that can align with the needs and knows how to implement county wide. Who's watching the technology expenditures? Please post information from this meeting.


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