December 23, 2013
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – The utilization of InBloom to store student data is a concern to many. This cloud storing of student information serves as a dangerous precedent in how we handle school information in the internet age. Caution is certainly warranted.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and fifty other members of the Assembly expressed concerns about student privacy and asked Commissioner King to immediately suspend his plan to share personal student data with inBloom Inc. Senator John Flanagan, chair of the Senate Education Committee, has called for an immediate moratorium for any data-sharing on the part of the State Education Department. Yet as of yesterday, State Education Department officials said they would not hold off uploading student information past January 22nd.
Last year, eight out of the nine states originally identified as inBloom’s “partners” have severed all ties with the company or put their data-sharing plans on hold. In a recent survey, 75% of elected school board members in New York opposed this plan, and 78% say parents should be allowed to opt out. More than forty Superintendents have returned federal Race to the Top funds in hope of protecting student privacy, but the Commissioner says he will ignore their wishes and upload their student data to the inBloom cloud anyway.
Mona Davids, a parent plaintiff in the lawsuit and President, New York City Parents Union said: "We are relieved that our legislators are putting our children first and taking action to protect student data. We hope our legislators move quickly and pass legislation requiring parents be respected and given the ability to opt out of any data sharing."