Tonawanda News

Opinion

January 22, 2014

CONFER: Opening the Gates to Common Core

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Consider Iris LiveView, something that seems ripped right out of the pages of George Orwell’s “1984.” Since teacher evaluation is a critical component of Common Core’s ancillary practices, Gates has strongly urged school districts to use this surveillance system in every classroom in America (it is believed the cost to taxpayers would be around $5 billion). Iris LiveView consists of a camera and powerful microphones (which could even pick up student banter) that can be watched live over the internet or recorded and saved in the cloud for later viewing. A cursory look at Iris LiveView’s website (ThereNow.net) shows a smiling Bill Gates. You can’t blame him for being tickled pink: The required software is Windows Vista or XP.

Then there’s the issue of data mining. Common Core and Race to the Top, the federal government’s funding carrot for Common Core implementation, require elaborate data collection and management schemes that will track, at the individual and collective levels, everything from grades to discipline to interpersonal behavior to a student’s (and their family’s) political, sexual and religious orientations.

You can’t collect and maintain such records without substantial software and hardware. inBloom is the company charged with all of this. It just so happens that inBloom was founded with $100 million in funding from Bill Gates and a few other organizations. Once all 45 Common Core states fully sign on to the mandated data collection, inBloom will reap a spectacular windfall, not only at the launch but in perpetuity.

Not surprisingly, third-party organizations are granted access to the cumulative data so they can tailor-make educational modules, texts and software for educators, from which they will amass great revenues. Among the corporations that will benefit from this taxpayer-funded and incredibly deep data collection that the businesses could never really collect on their own: Microsoft.

Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. Email him at bobconfer@juno.com.

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