InBloom Critics Launch 'Parent Coalition for Student Privacy'

MATTERS OF SAFETY: On July 23, parents Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters and Rachael Strickland of Student Privacy Matters launched the "Parent Coalition for Student Privacy" (PCSP), a group dedicated to lobbying for better student privacy protection. Along with the announcement came a letter delivered by PSCP to the House and Senate Education Committees, calling for strengthened FERPA legislation and more parent involvement in school decisions about privacy practices.

The coalition is already mired in controversy for issues that have nothing to do with data privacy. POLITICO reported that people took to social media to criticize the group for including the American Principles Project (which one Tweeter called a "hate group") among its members, along with others that oppose same-sex marriage and abortion. Diane Ravitch also signed the letter but "did not do a background check on the other 30+ names and/or organizations," she told POLITICO.

Haimson was one of the most outspoken critics of data warehousing platform inBloom, which closed its doors in April of 2014. In a press release, Haimson issued a call to action: "Since inBloom’s demise, many of the post-mortems have centered around the failure of elected officials and organizations who support more data sharing to include parents in the conversation around student privacy." She urged: "We are no longer waiting to be invited to this debate. It is up to parents to see that we are heard, not only in statehouses but also in the nation’s capital when it comes to the critical."

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