Sunday, January 4, 2015

I'M OUTRAGED AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO! Private Student Data On Google Docs For ALL To See!

For years now, ROPE (and others like Kaye Beach) have been warning parents that not only are public schools NOT the place to expect student privacy to be considered sacred, but that public schools are now sharing student data publicly. Just this week, I've become privy to information that absolutely PROVES this to be the case once and for all. Before I continue, I need to thank a current Oklahoma City teacher (who shall remain nameless) for this information - and also Howard Houchen and Kaye Beach - for contributing to this blog. This teacher - as other teachers in the OKC public school system - has been told that she must upload her students' information to Google Docs. She has refused. She, like fellow teacher Nikki Jones from Tulsa, has chosen to stand for children and their privacy and innocence! We thank her very much.

I will warn you, this is not going to be my typical long, researched to the nth degree blog. I simply want to post the screenshots here and give basic explanations. Frankly, I do NOT want to post this blog as, once I do, all the names of the students in the documents plastered on the web for everyone to see will have an arrow pointed in their direction. For that, I am truly sorry. I don't see any other way to break this story, however.

As many of you know, Teach For America (TFA) has been recruited to a very high degree in Oklahoma in order to make up for the 'teacher shortage'. If you take the time to research TFA, you'll find that many concerns have been raised about the program. This should be an addition to the growing pile.

This is a screenshot of the home page for the Oklahoma Teach for America Corps. It can be found at this address:

Please note the tabs at the top. Please notice that Jefferson, Roosevelt and US Grant are not only former US presidents, but current Oklahoma City Public Schools.

For purposes of explanation, I have clicked on the "Jefferson" tab. Here is a screenshot of the partial page under that tab.
These are a portion of the TFA Corps members assigned to Jefferson.

I decided to click on Thomas Joyce - he looks quite colorful. Here is the screenshot resulting from that click.

Yes, as a Constitutional Conservative, I'm a bit miffed by the quote, however, please note that his name is in red type. Here's what I found when I clicked on his name.

Yes, that says, "Data" and "Data 2".

This is what I found when I clicked on "Data". Yes, these are spreadsheets of his students with their full names and grades.

This is what came up when I selected "Data 2". I will not show what is behind the green boxes as these often have student ID numbers as well as full names and grades. As a teacher, I was not allowed to have my students switch papers for others to grade as this was a violation of their privacy. WHAT THEN IS THIS? I AM OUTRAGED AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO!

Of course this was the same for TFA teacher after TFA teacher listed on this site for all three schools. Just so you'll know I'm not making this up, here's the tab from Roosevelt:

Going further, here is the screen shot for one of these teachers, Dalton Goodier.

Good news. He knows Tomas Paine. However, when you click on his name, you get this:

And when you click on "Data" you get this:

I'm going to leave this picture very small here, as there are student names, grades and ID numbers visible (since redacted). Not only that, but some are SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS.

There was another TFA participant, Julie who even had phone numbers visible on her documentation:

Now. Do you understand? Is this where you want your child's information - on a Google Doc for ANYONE TO READ (and/or some public education watchdog publishing on her blog)? Please, please immediately find out if your child's teacher is storing your child's data on GOOGLE DOCS and tell them you want this data removed IMMEDIATELY. This is DEFINITELY in violation of our states new Parental Rights law, HB1384 or the OSCN Network Title 25. This should be lawsuit worthy.

ADDENDUM 1/5/2015: We revealed this issue at a private meeting this morning. Soon after, the Google Docs site went black. No one without the original web address will be able to find it - however, if you went to the website to verify our post, you will be able to. So will I and anyone else who did the same thing. In fact, anyone who is a Google user, could have pulled it into their Google Docs account and used it, edited it, or shared it.

Though we didn't delve into much of what is wrong with Google Docs and other 'cloud' based, shareable media in this meeting, one meeting participant added that many schools he knew of used Google Docs and the documents were all offline so no one could see them. I told him Google Docs were easily hacked. He observed that he didn't know anything about that. Unfortunately, just because school officials don't know about it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Schools today are using technology at such rapid rates that training and understanding of the media is getting lost in the shuffle. Sadly, so is the privacy of our state's kids.