The Real Obama Education Legacy
FREDERICK M. HESS
"Barack Obama came to office at a time of broad bipartisan support for
education reform. And he managed to simultaneously exploit and fracture
this goodwill. His aggressive approach politicized nearly all that it
touched, leaving in its wake unnecessarily divisive national debates
over issues like Common Core and sexual harassment on college campuses.
Obama's team went out of its way to attack school vouchers and
for-profit colleges, to dismiss "suburban moms" and Capitol Hill
Republicans, and even to scorn lunch ladies worried about unrealistic
Friday, December 23, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
UT Lawsuit Puts Spotlight on 750,000 Stolen Records of Students and Families
A news bomb about the theft of student data exploded in Utah’s Deseret News last July, but nobody noticed, apparently.
The article’s headline — “Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Puts Spotlight on Utah Autism Rates” — focused primarily on things other than the data theft. It highlighted former University of Utah research professor Judith Zimmerman’s allegations that university researchers were falsifying Utah’s autism rates.
But to me, the unheadlined bomb that the article dropped was the 750,000 students who had their data and their families’ data stolen by unauthorized “researchers”. The families now have no way of knowing this happened.
Zimmerman was fired for raising concerns about protected student data that she said the researchers had “compromised and accessed without proper authority.” She told the Deseret News that unauthorized individuals took 750,000 sensitive records with neither parental nor schools’ consent. This private “medical and educational information” included “names, birthdays, information about medical characteristics… special education classification and parents’ names and addresses,” reported the Deseret News.
How would these families now be notified? I wonder: with the whistleblower fired and with a years-long lawsuit and likely gag orders pending, the only people who now could potentially contact those families would be still employed at the university –who, being accused of the wrongdoing, certainly won’t go out of their way to inform the affected families right now.
I’m not going to discuss the ways in which the stolen records, and the children they represented, are vulnerable to potential crimes of credit card fraud, health insurance identity theft, crimes of predatory stalkers or the mandates of well-or-ill-intentioned governmental activists.
I’m here to ask –and answer– a very simple question that I hope readers are asking: how could this have happened? How were three quarters of a million records of children just lying around under the noses of any unscrupulous university researchers?
750000 stolen records of students and families