April 23, 2014
By Stephanie West
Albany, NY – NYSUT, in coalition with parents’ groups and other allies, had demanded that New York State cancel its contract with inBloom, a nonprofit funded by $100 million in Gates Foundation grants which had planned to collect, store and manage highly sensitive, personal data on every student.
At legislative hearings, rallies and through its lobbying clout, NYSUT repeatedly stressed that inBloom’s cloud-based data storage portal threatened student and teacher privacy and represented a costly — and unnecessary — expense for school districts.
NYSUT President Karen E. Magee noted that teachers and school districts use data responsibly and securely on a daily basis to ensure that students receive the support and services they need to succeed in the classroom.
“The inBloom project was exploitive. It sought to collect and store 400 different data points on every student, with no guarantee that highly sensitive information about students and their families would remain private and secure, and not be sold or misused,” Magee said. “InBloom was invasive. It was costly. It was unnecessary and, because parents and teachers stood up together for kids, inBloom is no more.”
The announcement that inBloom would shut down its operations demonstrated the power that parents and teachers hold when they work together and fight for what’s best for students.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said students and their families will be well-served by existing BOCES and school district services, which are less expensive and offer stronger protections. “This is a clear victory for the privacy and confidentiality of students and educators,” Pallotta said. “Our voices were heard.”