Corporate Reform Data and Data Mining

Laura Chapman: Grit and Data Mining

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Our reader Laura Chapman has unearthed another tentacle of corporate reform, in the business of rating schools and data mining.

She writes:

“Here is another example of the problem.

“Angela Duckworth of Grit fame is on the National Advisory Boardof GreatSchools.org, funded by Gates, Walton, Robertson, Arnold Foundations and 19 others, including the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Goldman Sachs Gives.

“This nonprofit is a huge “red lining” operation with opportunities to license ads using data about schools which, coincidentally, has been gathered through other projects that are not what they seem to be on the surface, like the CORE district program in Californa reaching 11 million students, with data gathering well beyond what that state requires for accountability, including surveys of school climate and social-emotional well-being.

“I am working on some chunks of information that show how deeply this organization is involved in redlining real estate, leveraging data on schools and “choice” options, parent profiles and so on.

“GreatSchools.org offers licenses and ads. These are marketed with “base” and “local” modules set up to push enrollment in specific schools. The scary part is that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Devlopment and Fannie Mae have paid for a license,

“The website boasts that it has one million customer ratings, on 200,000 schools, with more in the pipeline. I discovered this operation by looking at one school evaluation in Oakland CA, one of the 10 CORE districts that have a new system of data gathering on “school quality.” When I clicked on the rating, I was sent to the GreatSchools website. None of the PR about the CORE districts disclosed this commercial data mining operation operating under the auspices of a distant non-profit, funded by foundations known to be seeking market- based education with initiatives in dominating media outlets, and surveys that pretend to be research.”

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