By Karen Serna
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Among the 40 novels, the 1000 page British Literature text book read cover to cover, and the 4 or 5 Shakespearian plays I read for my high school senior English class, the book I remember most and even read a second time was George Orwell’s 1984. Although I was not then and am not now a conspiracy theorist, I was fascinated by this novel. Could it really happen? How? More importantly, how could we let it happen?
With recent news about how Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech giants deal with my data, my question has been answered. Even in Tea Party strong Texas, we allow police to use drones to spy on us as long as they have “probable cause”. What happened to the days of search warrants and so called privacy rights.
Is it any surprise then that the Federal government, as part of their push to create a national education system, Common Core, is developing a national database of our children? Oh, there isn’t an actual NATIONAL database since that would be illegal. The federal government has simply created a loop hole where they are pressuring states to create these massive databases in order to get grants. They then coerce these states to share their databases with the Department of Education, who will unashamedly share them with the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services.
They do this all under the guise of auditing their education program. These extensive databases will contain around 400 data points on each student. “Hopefully, someday, we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career,” said U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan in a speech given on June 8, 2009. Everything from test scores, disciplinary records, health history, family socio-economic status, religious preference, etc. will be in these databases, all for the ultimate purpose of developing a “managed economic machine”.
What? How did we leap from databases that ensure quality education to developing a managed work force? Let me connect the dots. You enter school as an innocent 5 year old (earlier these days since the faster your parents can get rid of you the better the government likes it). Your parents assume you are being taught certain standards so that after the school system is finished with you you’ll be prepared for college and/or to become a productive member of society in the field of YOUR choice.
Instead, your life is being tracked and constantly directed towards a particular field based off your test scores and other data points. Your destiny is, therefore, chosen for you. It’s that simple. And in typical American fashion, it is unlikely that we will fight this Orwellian system**. We are unwilling to do what it takes to educate our own children through private schools or homeschooling. Public school is too convenient. We will simply allow our fears and phobias to lull us into a mantra of “I love Big Brother.”
**Note from the author: Most states have groups that are trying to stop Common Core before it is fully implemented. An internet search will help you find these groups in your state so that you can get involved.
FMI on Common Core and how it affects you visit:
5 Part Video Series Titled “Stop Common Core”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coRNJluF2O4
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.coveralia.com/caratulas/Eurythmics-1984-For-The-Love-Of-Big-Brother-Interior-Trasera.php