United Way to Parents: Give Us Your Gold

If you haven’t heard yet, data is the new gold, and next-gen ed reformers can’t wait to get their hands on as much of it as they can.

Digital and online learning providers want this gold to “personalize” their computerized instruction; Wall Street wants it to prove that their social impact bonds are “working;” testing companies want it because people are paying them big money for it; and corporations want it so they can track and influence what kinds of products the public schools churn out for them.

Unfortunately for the miners, there are a few pesky barriers preventing them from having full access to your children’s personal information, including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, which prevents third parties from accessing student information without written consent from parents.

To get around this law, United Way of Salt Lake City, which has recently partnered with an organization called “StriveTogether” – a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks Foundation that has received millions from the Gates Foundation – is now encouraging parents to sign a form waiving their FERPA rights.

They’ve even put together a video to convince parents just how important it is that they give up their children’s personal information to just about any organization in the city that wants it – including the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce (see Prosperity 2020 below):

Screen shot 2016-01-17 at 5.32.15 PM.png

Watch the video that is being shown to parents in Salt Lake, and brace yourself for something similar that is no doubt coming to a community near you very soon:



And don’t let them make out like bandits!


Author: Emily Talmage

My name is Emily Talmage and I teach fourth grade at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston, Maine. In addition to teaching in Lewiston, I have also taught special education and general education in New York City, including one year at a “high-performing” charter school in Brooklyn. I also have two master’s degrees; one in Urban Education from Mercy College, and another in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. I have also worked as a research analyst and assistant at the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia and Oldham Innovative Research in Portland.

14 thoughts on “United Way to Parents: Give Us Your Gold”

  1. I taught and live the n St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, where our school system conducted a major fundraising effort for United Way for years. When our school board found out last fall that United Way had received Gates $$$ to promote Common Core, our school board unanimously voted to direct our fundraising efforts elsewhere. It was a clear and bold move by our school district that we take the privatization attempts very seriously and use every opportunity under our control to fight it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s