Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Big Data, and the Public-Private Planned Economy
If cutting-edge educational technologies can scientifically maximize student learning, then why do so many Silicon Valley bigwigs at Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Yahoo! send their children to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, a school which bans computer technology from its classrooms? If high-tech computerization were such a fundamental enhancement to cognitive development, then why did Steve Jobs withhold iPads and other “screen-time” technologies from his children? Why would these tech gurus not practice for their own sons and daughters what they preach (and bankroll) for the public education system? These incongruences signal red flags that the real objective behind the accelerating push for personalized computer learning is not to boost academic outcomes, but to data-mine students for the purposes of corporate-fascist political-economic planning.
Enter US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, a billionaire who has played both sides of the public-private fence as a supporter of federal Common Core data-mining as well as corporate charter schooling and privatized voucher programs. As President Trump’s Education Secretary, we can expect DeVos to transfer the government data-mining policies of Common Core into a deregulated system of public-private “school choice” partnerships, which will open loopholes for private data-mining corporations to coopt public student data for the purposes of for-profit behavioral advertising and corporate-fascist workforce planning.
By capitalizing on loosened Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) restrictions while blurring the regulatory lines between public education institutions and their privately contracted vendors, a DeVos federal policy of high-tech data-mining throughout a privatized national schooling system could open back doors for treasure-troves of public student data to be shared with educational technology companies, and even non-educational corporations, for fascistic market manipulation and workforce planning.
Less Privacy, More Privatization
DeVos has a decorated track record of school privatization activism as a Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Big Data, and the Public-Private Planned Economy | Dissident Voice: