Would it bother you to know that the federal Centers for Disease Control had been shown your daughter’s health records to see how she responded to an STD/teen-pregnancy-prevention program? How about if the federal Department of Education and Department of Labor scrutinized your son’s academic performance to see if he should be “encouraged” to leave high school early to learn a trade? Would you think the government was intruding on your territory as a parent?
Given that it's my opinion that the government is stepping all over parental territory every day: schools that take teenagers to Planned Parenthood for abortions without parental notification, much less consent; children taken from decent homes because they complained that their parents swatted their hands or rears or grounded them, while children that live in abusive homes keep their heads down and are left with their vicitmizers; schools watching your child's weight and trying to take over who gets to decide what your child eats--yeah, the government is majorly overstepping its boundaries on the local, state, and now federal level.
Under regulations the Obama Department of Education released this month, these scenarios could become reality. The department has taken a giant step toward creating a de facto national student database that will track students by their personal information from preschool through career. Although current federal law prohibits this, the department decided to ignore Congress and, in effect, rewrite the law.
And this surprises people...why? Every government is, at heart, a tyranny. Tyrannies work best if there is nowhere they cannot look into an individual's life, especially their personal life. And where best to start but in their childhood? Get 'em used to it young, and they won't notice the way their privacy is slowly stripped away (except in cases of murdering their unborn babies), and their rights infringed upon.
Assuming they understand what their rights are, given how crappy civic education is on nearly every level.
The administration wants this data to include much more than name, address and test scores. According to the National Data Collection Model, the government should collect information on health-care history, family income and family voting status. In its view, public schools offer a golden opportunity to mine reams of data from a captive audience. (emphasis mine)
Okay, here's the nub: the federal government assumes that you will use public schools to educate your child. Currently. So, if you care about this (and you should), one way to neatly sidestep the whole issue is to sacrifice some of your lifestyle to put your kids in private school. The government is right to assume that individuals in public school are, in a sense, a captive audience: they have total authority over public education. It's one of the only reasons I have issues with Ronald Regan and his policies.
Right now, they only feel safe invading your privacy through your kids' public school records. Right now, it's still legal to choose whether to put your kids in public school, private school, or take them out of school systems altogether and teach them yourself.
I have two little ones, the oldest of which is three years from public school age (born after the cutoff date), if I were planning on sending them in the first place. Thing is, I am an educator. I know what the quality of public school education isn't--I see the end results, and the average readiness for college is falling, year by year. There are a few individuals who've been to private school their whole lives (we have two good K-12 ones here--one is Catholic, the other costs more per year than the university does), and a few who have been home schooled who are better students than the private school kids. Guess which route I'm planning to take with my kids?
Right now, the federal government assumes that your kids are their property, and assume that you are a captive audience through their education. The federal government doesn't realize that their captive audience isn't as captive as they'd like to think.
Unfortunately, their "captive audience" isn't likely to shrink, as most parents are either uninformed, or just don't care.