PSAT for 2-25-14 (1): Support HB 4558 to protect student data privacy

psat_logoFile an electronic witness slip in favor of an Illinois House bill to strengthen parent control over student data.

Over the past few months, PURE and others have raised red flags about proposals to share Illinois students’ data with for-profit companies like inBloom. Just days after November’s More Than a Score forum on student data privacy, CPS announced it would not share data with inBloom. The state board has clarified that its own data warehouse, ISLE, is not connected with inBloom and that districts can decide individually whether they want to purchase services from inBloom.

This may be the end of inBloom in Illinois — for now. But we know that the will of education marketeers to capture and profit from student data remains strong. InBloom can simply change its name — as it has before — and try again under another guise.

That’s why it is still important for parents to have the ultimate control over their children’s private school information. That right was undermined the Duncan Ed department made to the federal student privacy act, called FERPA. Those changes took away parental rights to decide how student data would be shared with third parties.

Now Illinois State Representative Scott Drury, a Democrat from north suburban Highwood, has introduced HB 4558, a bill that would require parental consent before student data could be shared with third parties in Illinois.

The bill is called for a hearing before the House education committee tomorrow. You can submit an electronic witness slip in support of the bill.

Other bills listed on for this hearing that deserve your support are HB 3754, HB 4237, and HB 4767.

Here’s more on those bills from Illinois Jobs with Justice:

State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia has introduced three crucial bills.  The first two would restore local control over charter decisions, and the third would assure that all public schools be fully-staffed with certified teachers. Please ask your State Senator and State Representative to sponsor these bills.

HB 3754.  This bill would eliminate the Illinois State Charter Commission, which was created to overtuen decisions of local elected schools that have rejected applications of charter schools.  The Commission was put together to under the heavy influence of wealthy hedge fund managers and their front groups: Stand for Chilren and Advance Illinois.    Click  www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp    to read the bill.   The companion bill in the Senate is SB 2627.
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HB 4237 would allow districts to hold a referendum if the charter commission overturned the decision of a local school board.  Click  www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp  to read the bill.
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HB 4767,  would require all schools to hire only state certified teachers, and would require uncertified teachers to become certified  by September of 2016.  Currently, up to 25% of teachers in charter schools are uncertified and are paid less than their counterparts in neighborhood public schools.  Many of these teachers are given a 6-week course through Teach for America.  This  leaves them woefully unprepared for the challenges of the classroom.  The practice results in high turnover among those teachers, and a lower quality educational experience for the student. Click  www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp    to read the bill.
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Please call or email your  Illinois State Representative  and tell him or her to sign on as sponsors of HB 3754,  HB 3754, and HB 4767. Ask your State Senator to sign onto SB 2627.  Click on this link to find out who represents you and  get his or her contact information.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.
@pureparents