EdWatch
105 Peavey Rd, Ste 116
Chaska, MN 55318
651-646-0646
www.edwatch.org


Major Data Collection Bill, HR 380

March 13, 2002

A most important piece of federal legislation is passing through Congress. HR 3801, the National Education Sciences Reform Act, is the behind-the-scenes legislation that creates the layered infrastructure of the federal curriculum and federally controlled education/workforce system that redefines education. Most recently, this system was dramatically advanced by HR 1, No Child Left Behind Act.

The National Education Sciences Reform Act funds the detailed national data collection system that allows federal agencies to oversee and enforce an entire national educationsystem for all.

Using the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the national test which for the first time is required in all states, the federal government collects data regarding the standards, the assessments, the accountability systems and progress toward the Goals 2000 education curriculum that are mandated through the "No Child Left Behind" law. (See "The NAEP test")

It sets up appointed regional governance boards that effectively bypass the elected legislatures' role in planning and putting the "No Child Left Behind" in place in their states.

Three particularly egregious aspects of HR 3801 will be discussed in separate alerts starting today:

1) The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The NCES has been around since the federal government established the Department of Education. It has beencollecting volumes of personal, non-academic data on students since the sixties.

HR 3801 empowers the NCES, which will be allowed to join with any bureau or agency of the federal government to collect data on your children from the prenatal stage onward and set up cooperative agreements with the states so that bureaucrats on every level of government can have that information "for policy making." (We will address this Center today.)

2) Appointed regional government boards will be "surveying" every entity at every level of education to assess "needs, strengths, and weaknesses" (how well federal testing is being implemented) and then spend more tax money to provide "Technical assistance" to these entities (to implement the GOALS 2000/STW/WIA system in just right).

3) A large loophole decimates the prohibition of a national database by allowing international organizations like UNESCO (a mammoth division of the United Nations) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (an international governance structure that works cooperatively with the United Nations) to have individually identifiable information on your child. See below for the types of sensitive information these global bureaucracies will have on children starting before birth).

The Academy of Education Sciences is the new federal structure: HR 3801 spends $270 million of our hard-earned tax dollars to create a bureaucracy called The Academy of Education Sciences. The Academy replaces, reorganizes and expands many of the omplementation and enforcement mechanisms that were set established by Goals 2000 in 1994, called the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI).

This Academy is headed by a Director who is to be advised by a Board. Both the Director and the 15 member board are to be appointed by the President. These non-elected bureaucrats are likely to be architects or at least proponents, of the federal curriculum, such as Marc Tucker, Chester Finn, the Rand Corporation, the Carnegie Foundation.

One of the Centers that the Academy would oversee is the National Center for Educational Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/)

National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES): The mission of the NCES since 1965 has been to collect and disseminate education statistics from preschoolers to adult workers. That continues in this bill.

Information now collected would also include teacher performance, school violence, the social and economic status of children, and the presence and amount of computer/Internet technology in schools. Data is to be collected, cross-tabulated and reported by "gender, race, socioeconomic status, level of English proficiency," etc., not by individual academic achievement.

The NCES publishes a 300 page data handbook of various information that schools collect on children starting at the local level, going on to the state and then to the Federal level. The types of data include:

* State assessment and NAEP data with all of its demographic data and the questions pertaining to attitudes values and beliefs;

* 26 categories for religion, in violation of the First Amendment;

* 26 different kinds of identification numbers to identify a student, their siblings, and parents, including Social Security, Medicaid, and a migrant number;

* 9 different sets of categories for oral health, including the soft tissue condition of the mouth and the number of teeth (medical data gets very personal);

* 3 categories of history about the student's prenatal history - at what gestational age the mother had her first prenatal visit, the total number of prenatal visits, and total weight gain during pregnancy;

* History of psychiatric evaluation defined as "an examination used to assess an individual's emotional, attitudinal, or behavioral condition" (emphasis added). These criteria are dangerously vague. What if a student has an opposing attitude to the government's curriculum? What if he has been taught at home to support all of the Constitution and our national sovereignty? What if he disagrees with the Federal Curriculum? Will that student be referred for a psychiatric evaluation, labeled with a mental illness, and "treated" with medication?

HR 3801 allows the NCES to collect data from "States, local educational agencies [LEAs, meaning districts], public and private schools, preschools, institutions of post secondary education, libraries, administrators, teachers, students, the general public, and other individuals, organizations, agencies, and institutions [including information collected by states and LEAs for their own use]."

In other words NCES will spend our tax dollars to collect personal, private data, that has little or nothing to do with academic achievement, from every possible source they can use. The NCES is to maintain a data file on every person in America starting from before birth, always adding new types of information, some new aspect of each child's private and family life.

Sharing data with other federal agencies: Of even greater concern, HR 3801 allows the NCES to use data collected "by other offices within the Academy and by other Federal departments, agencies and instrumentalities." and "enter into interagency agreements for the collection of statistics."

The Department of Labor will be able to see how well children are being taught the SCANS job skills. The Department of Defense will continue to be able to have information on future recruits and draftees. HHS will be able to know how many students are receiving mental health treatment.

And just to make sure every bureaucrat can have data to create some new crisis that calls for a new taxpayer-funded program to solve the problem, the NCES "may establish one or more national cooperative education statistics systems." These systems are "for the purpose of producing and maintaining, with the cooperation of the States, comparable and uniform information and data on early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, post secondary education, adult education, and libraries, that are useful for policy making at the Federal, State, and local levels."

The subcommittee will discuss this bill today. The full Education committee will vote it out sometime next week. The House plans to vote on HR 3801 after the Easter break.

*******

EdWatch is entirely user-supported. The continuation of our research and distribution work is entirely dependent on individual contributors. If