Since its inception, public education in the United States has served as a venue through which children could acquire the skills needed to achieve their dreams of life, talents in liberty and individual concepts of happiness. Public education was intended to serve all facets of society equally; from the family to industry.
Now, that equal footing is gone, and our schools are gearing up to become full-service publically funded human resources departments for private industry.
With the gradual shift in “the purpose of people” philosophy, the focus on data has grown. By necessity – in order to increase and expedite data harvesting – parental authority had to be undermined and eventually eliminated. But by whom?
The federal government, through the US Department of Education, coerced states to hand over the data in order for it to hand over the cash.
Today, parents are rising up to reassert their authority over their homes and their children and teachers will no longer allow their classrooms to be nothing more than high-tech data gathering devices.
A grassroots, non-partisan activist group made up of parents, teachers, public school advocates, and stakeholders is moving to stop the march to central command and control of our children and our future as a society. ITS MY PII, which stands for it’s my personally identifiable information, is the name of the effort. The group’s mission is to secure, protect and defend parental authority [rights] and the personally identifiable information of students, parents, and teachers.
In this complex and technologically advancing world, with the click of a mouse, students’ personally identifiable information can be shared with anyone instantaneously. Because of the electronic nature of the information, it is also open to hacking and sharing with users who have a nefarious agenda, beyond that of business and industry. PII can include everything from their name to the details of the most sensitive issues they and their families face.
Support of ITS MY PII is vital to all, who care about the right of self-determination and equal access to opportunity for students, as they make their way through our educational system. The data they generate today will be used to determine what opportunities they have tomorrow.
All children, regardless of their background, should be free to explore and stumble as they navigate their way through this world. As it stands now, stumbles can become stifling if the data each stumble generates is used to limit future educational opportunities.
For example, data generated through high-stakes testing could prevent our most gifted students from attaining their full potential if it is used to place them on a “track” that limits their choices on what they study in the future.
Through the collection of Effective Domain data, a child’s bad day can turn into a life of days without choice.
In order to ensure that our children are free to achieve their full potential, we must:
- Block the transmission of data to the U.S. Department of Education and any other U. S. Department without specific parental or student (if 18 or older) consent
- Block the transmission of data to non-government organizations without specific parental or student (if 18 or older) consent
- Secure revocation of the Office of Arizona Attorney General’s December 10, 2014 opinion that parents cannot opt out their children from the AzMERIT assessment per ARS 1-601 and 1-602
- File for an injunction of the AzMERIT assessment until it is validated and it has been verified that it contains no capability to collect any information
IT’S MY PII is preparing to file suit against the Arizona Department of Education, the US Department of Education and Secretary Arnie Duncan, who in April threatened parents that if they didn’t get in line, “the federal government will have to step in” [as reported April 19th, 2015 in the National Review].
Milestone one has been achieved; we have identified the plaintiffs, who are K-12 school children, parents and teachers. We have identified one of the most qualified jurist in Arizona to argue the case, former Attorney General Tome Horne.
Milestone two has been vetted. The argument is relatively straight forward and is based in the “separation of powers” between Congress and the President. Under FERPA, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, parental authority is protected, including the authority of a parent to “opt-out” their child from curriculum, classes and testing that they object to. Executive orders that undermine, and serve to alter the elements of a federal statute are unconstitutional because they lack legislative authority. “An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” Shelby -v- Norton County
Milestone three is now in play; the raising of $30,000 to file for injunctive relief, putting a temporary stop to the collection and distribution of PII from the Arizona Public School System until the case can be heard in court.
Once the effort gains national notoriety, donors from all walks of life, and a wide distribution of wealth, will join the fight. Why? Because the fight is a non-partisan fight for our children. And, as funds are raised to fight the case as far as we need to – the US Supreme Court if necessary, we will also send a message to Congress.
What message will that be? Stop meddling in our families’ lives, stop pigeon-holing our children into a track that industry and the government selects for their destiny, and stop using taxpayer dollars to suppress the living of a child’s life.
What can you do to help? If you want to join the fight in this effort to secure the choices for all children so that they are free to reach their full potential, tell your friends and neighbors about the work of ITS MY PII. Explain to them that education is—in fact—the civil rights issue of our time. They, like you, understand that children are more than just data points. Donate to our effort to ensure that are children remain more than just a data point. With the “click of the mouse” you can prevent our children from becoming commodities. Visit our website at www.itsmypii.com to learn more about the issues and our effort.