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April 29, 2014
Concerned Parents Victorious Over National Student Database
In an article last Monday, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) announced the demise of the inBloom software firm as a result of parental opposition to its national student database. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, inBloom is the company that planned to manage and store personal data on public school students from across the nation.
At its height in 2012, inBloom boasted that nine states were ready to participate in the service, either through statewide efforts or localized pilot programs. Pushed by Common Core and Race to the Top, that number promised to grow. But as word got out, including through articles on our site and that of our allies at HSLDA, parents became involved. And those parents were overwhelmingly opposed to the plan.
The WSJ report quotes Leanie Haimson, mother of a former New York City public school student, who said, “Hopefully, today’s announcement that inBloom is closing its doors will make government officials, corporations, and foundations more aware that parental concerns cannot be ignored.”
We agree wholeheartedly.
It has long been recognized in our country that parents are the best defenders of a child’s privacy and other rights. The Supreme Court more than 40 years ago held that “[t]his primary role of parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” (Wisconsin v. Yoder, 1972) But in recent years, educational elites and deep-pocketed special interest groups have been working to undermine this principle.
InBloom, coupled with the Race to the Top-funded Common Core State Standards Initiative, was only the latest effort to delete parents from the education equation. But with the database failed and the Common Core gasping for life in several states, there may be more than hope for victory in the fight against nationalized education.
Let's celebrate this victory of active citizens and parents who made a difference in protecting children by preserving their own decision-making rights!
We also recognize that, like Common Core in certain states, inBloom could simply return under a different name. Given the track record of Common Core proponents, another covert effort to monitor students and mine their data for an advertising edge is not only possible but likely.
So, like you, we will not be taking our eye off the ball. We will celebrate this victory with caution.
Action ItemVictories like the fall of inBloom demonstrate that concerned parents will respond to the threats when they arise. But even greater is our potential to preserve parental rights before the danger is imminent. There is no better way to accomplish this than by passing the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In the last 3 weeks, two new cosponsors – Rep. Dan Benishek (MI-1) and Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11) – have added their support for the PRA. The full list of 74 cosponsors is available at 4pra.us/house.
If your congressman is on the list, please send them a note of thanks via email. (You can find their email address or web form link by clicking on your state at parentalrights.org/states.)
If your congressman is not on the list, please call them today and ask them to become a cosponsor of HJRes 50, the Parental Rights Amendment. Tell them the case of Justina Pelletier in Massachusetts proves parental rights are not protected as they should be. And the fall of inBloom demonstrates that standing against parents in America is never a wise business decision.
Thank you for taking the time today to stand for parental rights, as you have stood throughout recent months to bring down this attempt at a national student database. Congratulations on this wonderful victory!
Director of Communications & Research
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