Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fred Smith: Leonie brings Gloom and Doom to InBloom, Dragon Slayer Kills the Demon Seed

The accolades are rolling in for Leonie Haimson on the inBloom closing announcement. Leonie's campaign should written up in textbooks. She won a major war against the leading ed deformers.

Just look at this list from Diane Ravitch:

  • The company was started with a grant of $100 million from the Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, to gather confidential student data and store it on an electronic "cloud." 
  • The technology for collection and storage of student data belonged to Wireless Generation, a subsidiary of Amplify, run by Joel Klein and owned by Rupert Murdoch
Oh man! How delicious. For those who feel David cannot defeat Goliath, Leonie is one hell of an example.

[Any photoshoppers out there who want to do a cartoon for ed notes exploring this concept - use Gates/Klein/Rupert as face of Goliath and little Leonie with slingshot -- ball labelled "parent/student rights" as it smashes into their head.]

Leonie truly began this fight standing alone - a gang of one against some of the major forces behind the privatization ed movement. She was relentless to the point where I would say to myself, "Stop already! What's the point. She can't beat these guys." But Leonie did beat them - to a pulp. An example to me and everyone else -- they can be beat  --
The national leader of the fight was Leonie Haimson, leader of a New York City-based group called Class Size Matters, who testified across the nation and alerted parents to the possible breach of their children's confidential data.... Diane Ravitch
Thank You Leonie! This wouldn't/couldn't have happened without all you did to spearhead the pushback!... Susan
Wow, this statement shows this guy just doesn't get it. He thinks teachers don't get enough information about how their students are doing by working with them day in and day out, month after month, but need InBloom's data dashboards to feed them factoids and tell them which book to read or science experiment to do next. Unbelievable. Good riddance, and thanks to Leonie and everyone across the country who worked so hard to bring about this result! Now let's send Pearson packing! .... Jeff Nichols
Dragon Slayer Kills the Demon Seed.
Leonie brings Gloom and Doom to InBloom. Wow.
Yes, Jeff, we need to stop the Pearson juggernaut. Another impossible dream. Just as foolish as going up against the inevitability of InBloom... Fred Smith
Leonie Haimson Statement on inBloom's overdue demise
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, and that they must stop foisting their “solutions” on our schools and classrooms with no attention given to the legitimate concerns of parents and their right to protect their children from harm.

Yet the statement issued by inBloom’s CEO reeks of arrogance and condescension, and makes it clear that those in charge still have not learned any lessons from this debacle. The fervent opposition to inBloom among parents throughout the country did not result from “misunderstandings”, but inBloom ‘s utter inability to provide a convincing rationale that would supercede the huge risks to student security and privacy involved.
Leonie's full statement here at the NYCPublicSchoolParent blog.

By the way, do you think Rupert has figured out that Joel Klein can't run anything?

Here are press links from Chalbeat:
Below the break is the statement from inBloom:

inBloom to Shut Down Amid Growing Data-Privacy Concerns



By Benjamin Herold on April 21, 2014 10:33 AM
After months caught in the crosshairs of parents, advocates, and educators concerned about student-data privacy, controversial nonprofit inBloom announced Monday that it will close its doors.
The announcement, sent in an email to the Atlanta-based organization's "friends and partners," comes on the heels of the New York state legislature's recent enactment of legislation that effectively pulled the plug on the education department's relationship with inBloom.
Founded in 2011 with $100 million in support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, inBloom aimed to serve as a data repository for states and districts, storing and cleaning a wide range of student information, then making it available to district-approved third parties to develop tools and dashboards so the data could more easily be used by classroom educators.
The nonprofit company sparked a high-profile backlash, prompting withdrawal of planned partners in Louisiana, Colorado, New York, and elsewhere. 
In the organization's emailed announcement, the full text of which is provided below, CEO Iwan Streichenberger decried "mischaracterizations" of inBloom's work and security protocols and called it "a shame that the progress of this important innovation has been stalled because of generalized public concerns about data misuse, even though inBloom has world-class security and privacy protections that have raised the bar for school districts and the industry as a whole."
Following is the full text of the announcement from inBloom CEO Iwan Streichenberger: 
In 2011, an alliance of educators and state leaders, non-profit foundations, and instructional content and tool providers formed the Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC). The vision of that group was simple: create a resource that allows teachers to get a more complete picture of student progress so they can individualize instruction while saving time, effort and precious resources.
I signed on to the project in November 2012 to lead inBloom, the nonprofit corporation that is the SLC's successor. I joined because I passionately believe that technology has the potential to dramatically improve education. My belief in that mission is as strong today as it ever was. Students, teachers and parents deserve the best tools and resources available, and we cannot afford to wait.
Over the last year, the incredibly talented team at inBloom has developed and launched a technical solution that addresses the complex challenges that teachers, educators and parents face when trying to best utilize the student data available to them. That solution can provide a high impact and cost-effective service to every school district across the country, enabling teachers to more easily tailor education to students' individual learning needs. It is a shame that the progress of this important innovation has been stalled because of generalized public concerns about data misuse, even though inBloom has world-class security and privacy protections that have raised the bar for school districts and the industry as a whole.
The use of technology to tailor instruction for individual students is still an emerging concept and inBloom provides a technical solution that has never been seen before. As a result, it has been the subject of mischaracterizations and a lightning rod for misdirected criticism. In New York, these misunderstandings led to the recent passage of legislation severely restricting the education department from contracting with outside companies like inBloom for storing, organizing, or aggregating student data, even where those companies provide demonstrably more protection for privacy and security than the systems currently in use.
We stepped up to the occasion and supported our partners with passion, but we have realized that this concept is still new, and building public acceptance for the solution will require more time and resources than anyone could have anticipated. Therefore, in full alignment with the inBloom Board of Directors and funders, I have made the decision to wind down the organization over the coming months. It wasn't an easy decision, and the unavailability of this technology is a real missed opportunity for teachers and school districts seeking to improve student learning.
I want to thank you for your partnership in our endeavors and look forward to speaking with many of you in the coming months.

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