Stop Corporate Surveillance in Schools (A Movement Supporting People-Powered Classrooms Without Corporate Data Mined Students) seeks to stop schools from being used as a source of data collection on children that will define the education track they are on from an early age  and what their future employment will be.

Children’s private data is being mined for corporate profit and social control by private interests. This happens through gaming, curriculum, surveys, and assessments that are woven into the everyday structures and practices of schooling. Terms that sound positive, such as “innovation” and “21st century schooling,” are used to fool parents and educators. The data is being mined on multiple levels: cognitive (test scores, learning outcomes), social-emotional data (through counseling services and personal surveys), behavioral (through behavior management systems such as Class DoJo), health data (such as Caredoc), and career/graduate planning (via Naviance).

What We Do

We advocate for actions and provide resources to refuse ALL student data to corporations and tech industry “philanthropies.” We want to end corporate control of students, schools, and communities. We will create actions to eliminate the mining, tracking, and surveillance of student data by government and corporate entities.

In an increasingly technologically driven world, data is the new oil. Personal data (involuntarily released) in the hands of corporate and government entities leads to control, surveillance, and colonization of the public by private profiteering interests.

The outcomes for our campaign are:

1. To protect  individual children/students from corporate surveillance,

2. To dismantle corporate-led education policies that place public education into the hands of private corporate interests intended toward greater social surveillance and control, and,

3.To promote a democratic, humane, developmentally appropriate public school environment as an alternative to our current corporate, and often inhumane and militant, public school structure, which is most often found in high poverty communities.

Our three stages of engagement are:

1. Awareness

2. Building actions

3. Using successful actions as models to replicate.

What is Ed Reform 2.0?

Ed Reform 2.0 is a phrase I have been using to describe the new wave of data-driven privatization that has been unleashed by the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act. When reformers talk about getting rid of the “factory model” of education and replacing it with something that is “personalized,” “twenty-first century,” and “future ready” this is what they actually mean.

Ed Reform 2.0 proponents are in the process of redesigning public education to:

  • be accessed through digital devices (laptops, tablets, phones)
  • be monitored and surveilled
  • rely on algorithm-driven, adaptive learning management systems (Achieve 3000, i-Ready, Study Island) developed by corporate interests
  • use games and augmented reality experiences to collect behavioral data
  • be assessed increasingly by artificial intelligence
  • have limited face-to-face instruction with human teachers
  • significantly reduce the number of traditionally-certified educators
  • generate vast amounts of data on students, teachers, schools and districts
  • track “growth” as determined by data/metrics to evaluate “returns on investment” (ROI) for venture capital’s Pay for Success and Social Impact Bond schemes
  • comply with workforce demands, despite the fact that automation makes employment projections uncertain in many industries
  • be supplemented with “project-based learning” outsourced to community providers
  • replace traditional grades with demonstrations of competency for which badges or online credentials are awarded
  • replace diplomas with online portfolios in which “lifelong learning” skills are stored

If the Ed Reform 2.0 approach is not what you want, now is the time to resist.

Who We Are

Morna McDermott, PhD, is a Professor at Towson University. Her scholarship and research interests focus on democracy, social justice, and arts informed inquiry in Kindergarten through post-secondary educational settings, as well as working with beginning and experienced educators. Recent artwork and installations have emphasized the value of art as a public pedagogy in creating grass roots social, political, and educational change. She recently authored a book The Left Handed Curriculum: Creative Experiences for Empowering Teachers (IAP, 2012). She regularly blogs about critical issues in education at www.educationalchemy.com

Peggy Robertson, is a former public school teacher. She has taught six different grade levels, served as a literacy interventionist, and has supported teacher learning  in a variety of capacities throughout her teaching career. She currently lives on the western slope of Colorado where she is creating a self-sustaining farm with her family. She continues her work to support the teaching profession, children, and public schools via her work here at Popular Resistance.

Rosemarie Jensen is a former public school teacher. She taught for 11 years in K-2 classrooms. While in Alachua County, she served as Math Their Way trainer for area teachers. In Broward County, she served as a K-2 Literacy trainer for teachers. She taught pre-k integrated art and early literacy at My Gym. For the past 20 years she has served as a parent activist supporting and fighting for children, public schools and teachers at the local, state, and national level.