The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $100 million to fund a giant database to collect private information of American school children starting in early education and extending all the way through high school.
Promoted as a technological tool to help teachers tailor education to the individual needs of students, inBloom is a database that stores student’s scores, attendance, special needs, disabilities, etc. The intent is to exploit the technology that is available today to replace antiquated paper records.
Launched in February of 2013, inBloom is working with nine states representing over 11 million students. The nonprofit organization was launched to help educators keep up with the ever changing standards of state Common Core education.
So far, the states include Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina.
Security concerns have been addressed in the FAQ section of the website. However, many parents are still concerned that very personal data of their children could be vulnerable or fall into the wrong hands. Over privacy concerns, MoveOn.org began a petition to stop the New York State Education Department from collecting this information without parental consent. So far, over 4,000 signatures have been attained. And in at least one school district of New York, a delay was issued in schools releasing student information to the inBloom database.
More states will indeed sign up to participate in inBloom’s goal of educational success.To succeed in today’s global economy, students need learning experiences that meet their individual needs, engage them deeply and let them learn at their own pace. This requires teachers to have an up-to-date picture of a student’s progress; an understanding of where he or she needs extra attention; and access to materials that will help progress their students’ learning.