Dear Commons Community,
After fifteen months of operation, inBloom, a student database start-up is closing down. inBloom is the corporation funded by the Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation ($100 million from Gates) to collect personal, identifiable student data. The software was created by Wireless Generation, part of Joel Klein’s Amplify, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The data is stored on a “cloud” managed by amazon.com. As reported in the New York Times:
“InBloom aimed to streamline personalized learning — analyzing information about individual students to customize lessons to them — in public schools. It planned to collect and integrate student attendance, assessment, disciplinary and other records from disparate school-district databases, put the information in cloud storage and release it to authorized web services and apps that could help teachers track each student’s progress.
But the program ran into strident opposition from a number of parents and privacy advocates. They warned that school district officials were unequipped to manage, or even audit, how outside vendors might use delicate material — like a student’s disability status. The resistance culminated a few weeks ago, when the New York State Legislature passed a budget that prohibited state education officials from releasing student data to amalgamators like inBloom.”
The closing of inBloom is a major victory for students, parents, teachers, and state and local government and a major loss for the US Department of Education that pushed inBloom on all of the states receiving Rush to the Top funding. It is also a loss for the neoliberal, corporatization of public education movement promoted by Gates, Pearson, Joel Klein, and other private interests.