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Feds Propose National Database of College Students

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the getting-drafty-in-here dept.

Education 825

Dore writes "The Department of Education wants to collect personally identifiable information on all college students, including name, address, birth date, gender, race, and SSN. Privacy is assured. The No Child Left Behind Act, which holds primary and secondary schools accountable prompted this line of thinking. Now colleges should be held accountable. If you made it to college, you were not left behind, and further attempts at monitoring citizens should be."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957800)

first post?

Privacy is assured. (4, Interesting)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957810)

Oh? Well, that certainly clears things up, no privacy concerns then, its not like anyone bribeable will have access to it...

korean fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957814)

In Korea FP's are only for old people

Let me be the first (-1, Flamebait)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957816)

to pin this one squarely on GW.

... Now that Napster is Gone (5, Funny)

Crispin Cowan (20238) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957817)

Now that Napster (the good one :) is gone, they need a way to track college students again :)


Re:... Now that Napster is Gone (2, Interesting)

whovian (107062) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957877)

Actually that's the first thought I had. I assumed that this data could be twisted into a backdoor way to identify (RIAA) copyright infringers.

...and also to keep track of youthful men not registered with Selective Service.

Re:... Now that Napster is Gone (1)

nawlej (801130) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957941)

Cant they already track that? I mean they have your SSN already when you are born. They are bound to know when you turn 18....when you register to the Selective Service, you register with your SSN. My thought would be that they could just cross reference.

In Korea (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957828)

The KCIA proposes database of old college students.

renamed (5, Funny)

jrap (614351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957829)

No Child's Personal Information Left Behind

What? (2, Funny)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957830)

The US federal government has proposed creating a national database to track people?? STOP THE PRESSES!!

I mean, really... do we NEED to track every little thing someone does? How about a national database for tracking when everyone uses the restroom. We could put little sensors on all toilets to track how often they're flushed!

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957863)

Such sensors are undoubtedly coming just as soon as the perceived money saved on water exceeds the cost of the sensor. Instant drug-testing variants might take a little longer.

Re:What? (0, Offtopic)

soundguy900000 (813371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957925)


Re:What? (5, Informative)

shadowmatter (734276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957946)

How about a national database for tracking when everyone uses the restroom. We could put little sensors on all toilets to track how often they're flushed!

There is a prototype here [] .

- shadowmatter

Re:What? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957948)

Cool! Can we embed rfid tags in everyone's ass to identify them too?

Re:What? (5, Funny)

bluprint (557000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957974)

How about a national database to track everytime someone's information is tracked. Oh, and we'll need one to track every time someone tracks someone who is tracking someone. I think that should cover it.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957978)

We could put little sensors on all toilets to track how often they're flushed!

Or how often they wash hands!

goal (1, Interesting)

alexandre (53) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957831)

What exactly is the goal of this database?
What are their justifications?

Re:goal (2, Informative)

drgreg911 (741844) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957861)

From TFA it sounds like the point is just to make sure that students who transfer from College A to College B are not considered drop-outs from College A. Ostensibly the feds want this information for schools that recieve federal funding to track how well that money is spent.

Well shit, if that's the case (0, Flamebait)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957893)

Then I'd never be able to graduate with my Commerce degree! Stupid Comp Sci degree... designed to destroy the soul :(

Re:goal (0, Redundant)

frostgiant (243045) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957889)


Re:goal (4, Insightful)

tambo (310170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957996)

What exactly is the goal of this database?

From the article: "The idea, proposed by a research wing of the Department of Education, is designed to improve federal oversight of students' enrollment rates, graduation rates, and tuition. Currently, that information is provided only in summary form by universities, leaving gaps in national college statistics. When students transfer from one college to another, for example, they show up in the federal rolls as dropouts."

Apparently, metrics on student graduation rates are the lifeblood of our government. We can't tolerate even small inaccuracies.

(Of course, we can tolerate small inaccuracies in, say, our voting system. But that's just a different story.)

I can't imagine any legitimate purpose for this. Even if you argue that the government allocates public university funding based on education rates, the aggregate metrics generated by each institution should be more than sufficient. If a university isn't providing accurate data, then you need to force it to comply - not usurp its job with hideous spyware.

I imagine that the real purpose is to track foreign students at American universities. In fact, the government does have a legitimate purpose in monitoring, say, Iranian exchange students who are studying nuclear physics. But I can't imagine why they wouldn't bolt that duty to visa enforcement, rather than just brazenly spying on the population.

- David Stein

Good thing the Republicans are in charge (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957833)

See! With the Republicans in charge, we can be positive that States and Localities will gain strength and that the federal government's power is limite....oh, wait. Never mind.

Why? (5, Insightful)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957834)

Does America have any laws regarding compulsory education to a certain level?

If that exists and yet does not extend to college level, one has to wonder why this is being proposed.

Also I can't see any real benefits (eg. in terms of missing persons) of this scheme. Anybody would like to think up some?

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957938)

Yes. America has compulsory education all the way through High School (the last 4 years in 12 years of public or private education.)

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957977)

Isn't that compulsory *half-way* through high-school?

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

bluprint (557000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958002)

Not really. You can drop out at like 16, which is a sophomore. Right? I never looked into it, but it's something like that.

Re:I think the poster meant... (1)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958028)

That school should be compulsary up to 18, not that it is already, and this law would help encourage more schooling. The logic doesn't seem very good, but I think that what he meant.

Huh? (2, Funny)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957835)

If you made it to college, you were not left behind, and further attempts at monitoring citizens should be.

Does this sentence make sense to anyone else around here? Or rather...

This sentence make sense to anyone else around here does?

Re:Huh? (1)

Zeebs (577100) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957868)


Re:Huh? (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957879)

This sentence make sense to anyone else around here does?

It makes sense to Yoda.

Yoda: Ahhh! A great warrior. (laughs and shakes his head) Wars not make one great.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10958018)

Unfortunately, I dropped out of Dagobahian 101 in the first semester.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957906)

If you made it to college, you were not left behind, and further attempts at monitoring citizens should be.

Does this sentence make sense to anyone else around here? Or rather...

This sentence make sense to anyone else around here does?

The original sentence makes perfect sense. Perhaps you should check the K-12 database for your name...

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957930)

If you made it to college, you were not left behind, and further attempts at monitoring citizens should be [left behind].

Now make sense, eh?

Re:Huh? (1)

CRYPTOFREQ (735273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957932)

I think he meant to say that if you made it to college you weren't left behind educationally and that all further attempts at monitoring should be (LEFT BEHIND)...and forgotten hopefully.

Doesn't make sense to me... (1)

allism (457899) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957960)

"If you made it to college, you were not left behind, and further attempts at monitoring citizens should be."

If this is true, then why is there affirmative action to get into college and for hiring, even when job candidates have degrees?

Oh, wait, you were referring to the grammar...

Whoah! (5, Insightful)

SillySnake (727102) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957836)

Where does it end? I mean really.. Broadcast flags are one things, but keeping tabs on every person that enters college? That's insane..
Granted not a lot of people finish college, but a great deal start.. and the idea that the government feels the need to keep track of me in yet another way is outragious..
By the time we get to college, we're in charge of making sure we succeed, not the government

Re:Whoah! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957999)

Just wait until they tie your slashdot user account to your college record! They'll report to your college that you can't spell outrageous ;-)

Yet another list... (4, Insightful)

Yoda.bRAM (721608) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957838)

Looks like ole George Orwell was off by about 20 years.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957857)



Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957920)

Excuse ME, sir, but Subject Line Troll does not include n/t markers in his posts. Your poor attempt to imitate him is offensive, please go away.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957933)


let's include professors, too (5, Interesting)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957840)

After all, aren't they the ones indoctrinating our future leaders with all this nanny-state nonsense?

Colleges Accountable?!? (4, Insightful)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957841)

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! If your college isn't "performing," you vote with your money and go somewhere else.

No further legislation needed. (Also keep in mind we're talking about college students-- legal adults. Creating a No Child Left Behind-like database has more legal problems to consider.)

Re:Colleges Accountable?!? (4, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957949)

Except that a large number of universities receive state and federal money. I don't even think they're trying to track progress within college; I think it's moreso that they want to see which high schools are actually getting students enrolled and graduated from college. There's currently no way to do this, so there's no metrics for high school achievement.

That said, I'm normally one of the people saying 'so what', but in this case I don't agree with a national database that includes names and social security numbers. Instead just have a database that anonymously tracks which HS a student came from and what grade they've achieved in college, as well as if they have a degree or not. Much simpler database and it'll achieve all of the same things.

Re:Colleges Accountable?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957971)

I've always kind of wondered, how can you be a legal adult, and still not be allowed to drink alcohol? What the heck is that about? Where I live it's 19, so why do you have to spend a year as a legal adult before you can drink? I can joing the frickin' army at 17 with my parents' consent, and I can do anything else at 18, but not drink alcohol. Why?

Re:Colleges Accountable?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10958017)

I'd like to see what'd happen if we tried to register the members of all churches with tax-free status. We wouldn't collect anything intrusive, only name, address, birth date, gender, race, and SSN. I bet then Bush would get his little born-again panties in a bunch over privacy.

are getting for our investment in higher educatio (4, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957845)

" are getting for our investment in higher education?'""

public school? i.e. community colleges- defensible.. private institutions? none of their damn business.

Re: are getting for our investment in higher educa (1)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957899)

So, how does that hold up with the large number of private schools that take government money and have to meet certain educational criterion?
I mean, I'm not happy about *any* of this as a Libertarian, but...
Once you start taking the cash, hard to say no - something the States have already learned from the Feds.

Re: are getting for our investment in higher educa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957914)

Oh, the government will have its due for the money it gives to (almost all) private schools.

Random sample (4, Insightful)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957848)

If it's just to gather better statistics, wouldn't reporting data on just 5% of a college's students be enough? Of course, this would have to be the same 5% of students tracked through their whole academic careers, but that would be simple enough to do with a hash of SSN's.

If the government doesn't go for this proposal, I'd like to see a better reason for tracking students.

Privacy (1)

cbelle13013 (812401) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957851)

Oh, well if privacy is assured.... sign me up!

Unnecessary data! (5, Informative)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957853)

This is bad move by the US Department of Education. Much of this information is uneeded. I quote from the article:

Under the new system proposed by the National Center for Education Statistics at the Department of Education, each student enrolled in college would have a computer record that included name, address, birth date, gender, race, and Social Security number. It would then track field of study, credits, tuition paid, and financial aid received and would follow the student if he or she transferred or dropped out and later reenrolled.

Why does name, address, birth date, gender, race and Social Security have to do with this obstensible goals? An anonymous survey could be effective to gain whatever information they can possibly hope to gain from this system. They seem to be concerned with transfer students, but these could just be tracked without private information being encoded in a databse! This is a rediculous move, and probably just another move for a more complete database of civilian's private information.

Perhaps some staticians could shed some light on what this study hopes to achieve, and why personal data is required?

Re:Unnecessary data! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957926)

[tinfoil hat]
They just want to give everyone another reason to drop out, thus saving the public purse more money in the short term, and providing a larger pool of semi-literate wage slaves in the longer term.
[/tinfoil hat]
I agree, it doesn't make sense, and will be just as much a failure as the current NCLB program is.

Re:Unnecessary data! (1)

Darthmalt (775250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957934)

most colleges already have this data in a database for easy lookup by the admin.

Re:Unnecessary data! (1)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957955)

Perhaps, but I would hope that most colleges protect this information from parties you haven't authorized to read it, including the federal government?

Re:Unnecessary data! (1)

bdigit (132070) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957969)

I had mod points but I guess I'll bite...

Name is the only thing I see that they dont need.... Here's why...

Birthdate... Allows to tell what age people entered college, dropped out, average age of graduation, etc...

Race.. Helps us determine if blacks or whites are in college more, how much financial aid they are recieving, etc..

Gender... Same thing, see if male or female is more dominant, who does better in school, graduation rates, etc..

I think you can see how it works now.

Address... Which locations have higher college dropout rates, which locations have higher number of people going to college, so on

SS # is there just to make sure all the data is unique and actually linked to someone. All this info could be dug up anyways from just your SS#.

They need this so they can look and see what areas need more school funding, and what areas are actually churning out students who go on to graduate from college.

Re:Unnecessary data! (1)

Kipsaysso (828105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957985)

Most University's track this data already. And (as it says ing the article) they present this data in a summerized form.

Re:Unnecessary data! (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957987)

It could be used to prevent you from ripping off the federal educational grant system. For example, maybe giving grants to students who have dropped out in the past is a bad investment. Or a good one. More statistics help make the system more profitable/effective.

Good idea (1)

penguinbrat (711309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957854)

For once, I think that this is a good idea... We all pay for the public schools, whether we like it or not (through taxes). When it comes to colleges, we pay it voluntarily - so we can obviously go there. If the school is below par, and the only one around - the consumer is the one who is screwed...

Re:Good idea (1)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957918)

Wrong. When you're paying taxes to your local school district (which might happen to be below par), you can't just stop paying your taxes.

On the other hand, if you feel university you are going to is below par, you do what any any customer is entitled to do -- you go somewhere else with your money.

Foreign Students (1)

jerichohol (821580) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957855)

Dont they do this with all Foreign Students already? especially the "questionable ones" I suppose this is just including the American Citizens also. Make it a nice secure system. At least know one would be able to access it for anything important. It just shows name + address etc. What if they start including grade information and allow access for companies to verify who you are.

Re:Foreign Students (2, Informative)

sameerdesai (654894) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957903)

Fact is not just questionable ones but all of them. BCIS has something called the SEVIS [] system now to keep track of all foreign students. It's like none of them would have a privacy as each of their actions would be tracked. Now they are extending this to all of them. I was a foreign student for a while and take it from me it is a big hassle being asked and monitored each things you do when you just want to have a better education and do something good with your life.

Re:Foreign Students (3, Funny)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957998)

I propose every foreign student where an emblem in their chest marking which country they come from. It would make it easier for the government to track these people. After all, what if even one of them is a terrorist?

US students, of which nobody will ever be a terrorist, should be tracked for other reasons like to figure out what will become of them once they grow up and whether the investment on them has paid off. I propose we implant an RFID tag under the scalp of each US student. That way the Government could easily scan them at every opportunity.

It is important that we know what young people do with their lives. After all, they could become terrorists some day! Or eat children! Or even, heaven forbid, violate copyright laws! We MUST know what they're up to.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957858)

KOREAN and NAZI college students ARE BELONG TO US.

draft (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957859)

they are preparing for the draft

Kind of makes you wish... (5, Insightful)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957864)

Kind of makes you wish we were back in the Reagan era, when abolishing the Department of Education was in the Republican platform.

Fine... (5, Funny)

spidereyes (599443) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957865)

As long as

1. It's searchable by name, location, major and gender
2. It includes pictures
3. You can rate each person

Already done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10958023) []

Drafty? (2, Insightful)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957866)

This is not a part of the draft. They already have Selective Service registration. This is an attempt to keep an eye on foreign nationals in college with the added bump of keeping an eye on everyone in college. So will your school do it? Bet your ass compulsory membership is tied to getting fed money. Smile! Smile! Smile!

so santa can bring them toys? (1)

Cracell (788266) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957870)

This is an expansion of santa's database of child locations I bet, since anymore the age that you are not a child keep going up and up, I guess santa has decided that college students are children who need toys on christmas, this is very good news for all of them

Remember to make your wish lists now before it's too late, then email them to

umm... (1)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957873)

what's the point of this database again? i can't see any (even illegitimate) use for this. there would be no information here that isn't easily obtainable elsewhere.

How about keeping a database of... (2)

SunofMan (829776) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957874)

How about they keep a database of college students who don't contribute to their friggin' group projects? That'd benefit students a lot. I, for one, got sick and tired of doing the work of 2 or 3 people all by myself during college. It even happens in grad school!

New Freedom! Like Freedom Classic, but better! (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957878)

Given the propensity of college students to kill themselves is greater than that of high school students, I think we'll also see an expansion of the New Freedom Initiative to require mandatory mental health screening of college students.

Just because we were/are/will-be insane while we're in college, doesn't mean there's anything to fear. Although your typical professor assigned to teaching an undergrad class might like the sound of that, if they locked all the undergrads up, there'd be nobody around to buy their textbooks.

So unlike New Freedom for Public Schools, New Freedom for College will be a self-limiting phenomenon.

Re:New Freedom! Like Freedom Classic, but better! (1)

beeplet (735701) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957942)

A prescient quote from The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood:

"There is more than one kind of freedom...Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it."

Accountability? (1)

MnkyKnifeFghtr (731528) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957881)

Aren't colleges accountable anyway? No Child Left Behind is a good idea, in spirit, to keep our required, public education system to a reasonable level. College is not required. It's pretty easy, if you don't "make the grade" you fail, and they kick you out. As far as the quality of information provided at these schools, well, that is another topic since probably all but 3% of colleges try to do anything but produce mediocrity. I don't think this is anything but a thinly veiled attempt at gathering more information on people however they possibly can.

zerg (5, Funny)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957883)

It makes sense, when you think about it. How many people who voted for Bush could possibly be affected by this scheme?

Re:zerg (1)

kovarg (591527) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958000)

At least one!

Privacy problems, yes, but.... (1)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957904)

If you made it to college, you were not left behind, and further attempts at monitoring citizens should be."

You're right.... if my tax dollars were not being given to many students to help them pay for college.

However, when my tax dollars go towards grants and scholarships to kids going to college, then I deserve to know that money is going to a worthwhile cause. Yes, this means that if Little Johnny needs his $2000 per year to attend a university, I must know that he's passing his classes and doing well. I have a serious problem with my money being sent to a kid who spends his time partying than actually getting an education!

Re:Privacy problems, yes, but.... (4, Interesting)

vorpal22 (114901) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958019)

I've got news for you, bud. If not-so-little Johnny, who is now in college, doesn't live up to performance expectations, he'll be kicked out of the school after a semester. Then your problem will be solved - your tax dollars will no longer be sent to him.

You'll never have a complete say over where your tax dollars go, but this is one case where I think the inherent systems will succeed in assuring that the worthy receive your contributions. We don't need more restrictive measures put into place.

Submitter got it right.... (1)

johnstein (602156) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957907)

If you made it to college, you were not left behind, and further attempts at monitoring citizens should be.

although college seems to be the norm today, it's still not as simple as high school to get through. if you made it to college, you still have to be responsible enough to get through it without partying too much and learning to study and take responsibility for your actions.

maybe I'm slightly off-topic, but geez, why can't people just let the rest of the people take care of themselves? why do we always need agencies 'helping' us when we don't ask for it? elementary and high school is ok... but once a person is of age to go to college, even if there ARE a lot of immature college students out there, they should be expected to begin to learn to take care of themselves.... bleh. I'm only 25 and I feel so old saying these things...

college not the same as public school (3, Insightful)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957910)

Having over 6 teachers in my immediate family and once concidering the profession. no child left behind is a useless inititive. Why have a program that looks great but puts requirements on schoool programs without giving them the funding to reach said goals. The problem has never been documenting who gets behind, but ensuring that the school budget gets funded and passed before you fund prisons and roads. getting back to the problem why doesn't the government solve the public school problem before they take on colleges.

Re:college not the same as public school (4, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958009)

No Child Left Behind is not useless; it is worse than that. Paying for all these programs winds up sucking the funding out of accelerated/gifted programs. No Child Left Behind becomes No Child Gets Ahead - and the brightest kids mentally drop out of school because it's nothing but boring.

Financial Aid (1)

emmilliiee (676437) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957916)

They already collect this data for most students, though the Financial Aid system.
While the current system only gathers data on middle class and poor students, it's not going to be a huge shift to collect data on the .001% of students that are independantly wealthy.

Uh huh. (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957917)

What percentage of college students didn't use federally subsidized loans as part of their package to pay tuition? The government already has all of this data. Hell, are you saying that the social security, census or internal revenue services don't already have this data?

Sure, tracking the actual education aspects are new, but perhaps I'm missing how the government knowing I dropped out of college is a gross invasion of my privacy.

Privacy is assured (1)

cwapface (835930) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957937)

My RepubliColleagues are all in favor of this. Their rationale includes such favorites as 'We need to know who the arabs are that we are teaching' and 'If they don't have anything to hide then they won't object to it.' Anytime I hear a comment start with 'We're at war, it's ok to...' it's usually not ok.

In Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10957940)

Only old people are left behind.

blown out of proportion......right? (1)

to_kallon (778547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957950)

''An incredible potential exists for confidential information being used inappropriately" under the proposal, said Sarah Flanagan, vice president for government relations at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
hmmm.... []
nah, probably just people over-reacting.... (and that's just 1.4 million)
seriously though, i can understand the desire for this amount of data to better analyze the education system. somehow, though, this whole thing sounds unnecessarily dangerous to me.

Ask the high school? (1)

Josuah (26407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957957)

When I graduated high school, they asked me if I got into a college somewhere. And then they put that into a book or something. Maybe the yearbook. Don't remember.

If you're already tracking high schools for this program, and I assume they're asking how many of a school's students graduated and how many didn't, why not just ask them the number that got into college and the number that didn't? They could even ask which colleges to figure out more stuff.

I don't see much of a problem providing demographic information to help provide analysis on this. But I don't really see the need to track a child's educational progress so tightly. If a specific child is not sent to college, is the government going to do something for that child?

Aren't college students adults?? (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957976)

...oh..wait.. maybe not [] .

Maybe this is a A Good Thing(tm), so we can help them find their way home.

let's start a different database (1)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957988)

Why does it seem like the gubmint always wants to start this list or that list and collect this info or that info on normal shmoes? And all in the name of "security" or "anti-terrorism" or some other buzzword. I say that in the interest of homeland security the shmoes should start a database on the gubmint, not the other way around.

NCLB is an absolute failure (5, Informative)

mattkime (8466) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957991)

I have a friend that teaches in the New York City school district as a teaching fellow. They bring in recent college graduates and assist them in becoming teachers. Why? Because few people want to do the job.

He loves teaching. Through high school he coached younger kids in soccer. He has a rare gift for it.

He hates his job. There aren't books for the kids. There isn't paper for the copiers - unless he buys it. Basically, he has no materials for the majority of the classes he teaches.

His school is being punished by NCLB. They have reduced funding because they have not met minimum test score standards. Why haven't they? Because their students come from poverty and the school itself is underfunded. There are four computers in his classroom - no mice or keyboards, all broken and never replaced. How can you expect the students to be serious about education when you're not serious about giving them one? They know its a joke - they know rich kids go to schools with books and paper and they have nothing.

If you fail to meet minimum testing standards, you are given a bit of money, as any NCLB proponent will point out. This money is for basic math and reading courses. Funding for nearly all other programs is revoked. This means that teachers begin teaching for the test as to try to get their funding back. Teaching for tests is short sighted and ultimately doesn't teach the higher order thinking needed to advance in life.

He is not a teacher but a disciplinarian. He is forced to spend his time with problem students rather than helping and rewarding the good ones.

While NCLB has the nice ideal of encouraging better schools, it ultimate takes money away from those that need it the most. It further emphasizes the lack of access to education that the poor suffer.

This might be semi off topic, but I think people should know waht NCLB is like from the inside.

Do college students really need Gov Help? (1)

CmdrObvious (680619) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957992)

It would seem to me that part of the benefit of college is that you learn how to grow up and register for classes, show up, deal with administration, etc. I made it through college, and now i have a job. What is next, no worker left behind? the Gov can call me every morning at 7:00a.m. to make sure i didnt oversleep? What we need is more personal accountability, not more Government!

As if it were not bad enough... (1)

th3d0ct0r (707205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958001)

Not only is this consistent with the nightmarish "big brother is watching you" trend raging in the US, but the fact that "race" is still considered to be a valid identifiable information is shocking.
I mean, shouldnt it be "ethnic background", since the scientific community univocally rejects the concept of "race" as a dangerous social construct?

In United States, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10958004)

Privacy is for Old People

What happened to... (2, Insightful)

maxchaote (796339) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958014)

What happened to keeping track of politicians?

I seem to recall that it was that shady lot people used to be concerned with keeping tabs on.

Small Government? (1)

g0hare (565322) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958016)

I thought the Republicans were for small government? I mean, by today's standards Nixon was a freaked out hippy liberal. It it so onerous that one or two people might rip off the system, that we must all be subjected to this sort of nonsense?

Everybody Knows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10958021)

... that colleges are hotbeds for that "learning" stuff and should be monitored carefully. Some colleges might even be teaching evolution!! For shame! No wonder these messed-up students are the main instigators behind protesting the wholesale auctioning of our environment to Asia. The little monkeys are startig to think for themselves. And we can't have that sort of nonsense.

If we have a handy list of all students, we know whose door to smash in at 2AM the night after the big protest and haul off to Guantanamo.

p.s. I'm Happy! First day on Linux (Debian Gnu/Linux) and Firefox! This OS ROCKS!! APT ROCKS! Firefox ROCKS!! Try it!

Take off the Tin Foil and Think. (3, Insightful)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958031)

Almost every university I know of sends a copy of your grade card to parents if they're paying for the schooling and request the updates.

Government does subsidize higher education, saving students billions every year.

These are our tax dollars that they're shipping off to universities and I think we (the tax payers) do have a right to know what's being done with it.

If a university has a 75% drop-out rate should they be funded the same as, less then or more then a university with a 5% drop-out rate? That's worthy of debate, something not possible without this data.

applications (1)

themaidtricks (823827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10958033)

Every time you fill out a job or college application, you have to fill out a bunch of stupid pieces of paper with information that you shouldn't have to know, like your name, birthdate, and so on. Maybe this database could lead us down the path to greater efficiency, but in the end it will probably be more of a benefit to private corporations, which would have more use for it than the government.
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