September 2, 2014

Data Privacy: inBloom, the Non-Profit Data Repository for Student Data Shutting Down

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From Education Week:

Founded in 2011 with $100 million in support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, inBloom aimed to serve as a data repository for states and districts, storing and cleaning a wide range of student information, then making it available to district-approved third parties to develop tools and dashboards so the data could more easily be used by classroom educators.

The nonprofit company sparked a high-profile backlash, prompting withdrawal of planned partners in Louisiana, Colorado, New York, and elsewhere.

From the NY Times:

Financed with $100 million in seed money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the venture promised to streamline how teachers and administrators accessed student records. The system was meant to extract student data from disparate school grading and attendance databases, store it in the cloud and funnel it to dashboards where teachers might more effectively track the progress of individual students.

The inBloom database included more than 400 different data fields about students that school administrators could fill in.

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

State lawmakers and parents derided the program, saying they could not be sure that student data would be safe. Education Commission John King, though, defended the effort and said New York already collects the information, and inBloom testified at an Assembly hearing in February to defend itself.

From Full Text Statement re: Shutdown by inBloom CEO Iwan Streichenberger

The use of technology to tailor instruction for individual students is still an emerging concept and inBloom provides a technical solution that has never been seen before. As a result, it has been the subject of mischaracterizations and a lightning rod for misdirected criticism. In New York, these misunderstandings led to the recent passage of legislation severely restricting the education department from contracting with outside companies like inBloom for storing, organizing, or aggregating student data, even where those companies provide demonstrably more protection for privacy and security than the systems currently in use.

Background

  • Other ORIGINAL funding partners included the: Council of Chief State School Officers and nine states: Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, and Louisiana. (via Carnegie Funding database).

If you’re not familiar with what inBloom here’s a promo video along with a “how it works” video from the organizations YouTube page.

 

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.