inBloom, Bill Gates, and the New York Regents

Chicago Public Schools decided last week against adopting inBloom, a secure cloud system for student data. (See Sun Time report.) While Illinois remains one of two states still participating in inBloom’s pilot program, the state is allowing individual districts to opt in or out. Chicago Public Schools serve about one-fifth of the state’s 2 million public school students, and a number of other districts have opted out as well.

Updates on this story coming — check back here and tune in Thursdays 11 a.m. to noon (Eastern), to the Education Town Hall on We Act Radio, 1480 AM (DC area).

Only New York is preparing to use inBloom’s cloud system statewide. Data has already been uploaded and inBloom is set to begin sharing it in January. However, New York parents filed suit to stop the sharing of student data. A hearing is set for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Albany Times Union reported on common philanthropy funding both the inBloom project and Regent fellows, a think tank within the New York Board of Regents. Most prominent are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, each contributing millions to create the Regents Research Fund and many more millions to help launch inBloom. Teachers unions, among others, have filed complaints questioning the role of privately-funded employees — without background in education, according to one complaint — in implementing public policy.

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