If the current bipartisan legislation passes, the federal government will be able to track you throughout life using education, employment, wage and workforce data.
On Oct. 31, following recommendations made in the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking’s (CEP) final report, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., introduced the “Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act” (H.R. 4174), along with a companion Senate bill (S. 2046) introduced by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. This legislation would create a national data clearinghouse that includes student data which will be shared among various agencies and with researchers.
Since this citizen surveillance and tracking are tactics of police states, why would “conservative” Republicans – Ryan, Trey Gowdy and Blake Farenthold – join Democrats in sponsoring this legislation?
This bill gives Paul Ryan what he wants: “a transparent, efficient, and well-designed data system that is both accessible by federal agencies and secure for those who contribute.” Ryan is promoting this legislation as a necessity to “fight poverty” and to evaluate federal programs to determine those that work.
We already know that nearly all federal programs don’t work, including anti-poverty programs. The ignoring of decades of research on the government boondoggle Head Start is evidence that government doesn’t care whether programs work, only that there be more programs to suck up more personal freedom and more taxpayer money.
The real purpose of CEP is for Congress to create permanent, lifelong dossiers on every higher-education student. All college students would be entered into a massive federal database without their consent or knowledge or ability to opt out. There would be no limits to the data collected – employment, health, military service, financial, legal, family, religious, political, social, criminal.
Because Americans don’t want the federal government collecting dossiers on them, there currently is a statutory ban on a “federal student-unit record system.” Now a group of corporate-funded researchers are hitching up with the Gates Foundation-funded Data Quality Campaign to overturn the ban. At that point the federal government can collect information on individuals and track them everywhere, anytime, for any purpose, for a lifetime.
Since the legislation does not include any limits, the CEP’s recommendation can get rid of the student unit-record ban and allow the creation of a national student database at the primary and secondary education levels.
Although the legislation claims to protect the privacy of the data, evidence already exists that the U.S. Department of Education’s data security system is riddled with vulnerabilities. Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, concluded that “almost half of the population of the United States of America has their personal information sitting in this database, which is not secure.”
Both parties have been trying for several years to pass legislation that will eliminate privacy protections – the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act and the College Transparency Act of 2017. These would overturn the unit-record ban and give the government greater capability of linking agencies’ data so nanny government can better monitor the lives of citizens.
The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act was sponsored in 2013 by Republican Marco Rubio. The stated purpose was to streamline institutional reporting with information based on a wide range of key data, including student debt, post-graduation earnings and employment outcomes over a lifetime.
This national student database legislation is a camel in the tent in the D.C. swamp.
There is a parallel to this in the history of the federal takeover of education.
In violation of the Tenth Amendment, Washington control over American elementary, secondary and post-secondary education was enacted with two federal statutes – National Defense Education Act of 1958 (NDEA) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).
The need for the NDEA was touted as necessary after the successful launch of the first Soviet earth-orbiting satellite and launch of Sputnik II. Though they voted for the bill, Congress recognized the Sputnik crisis was a sham, the real intent being to increase federal control over education. Sen. Barry Goldwater correctly predicted that the NDEA would prove to be the proverbial “camel’s nose” of the central government in the tent of education.
The camel’s nose moved in further with the passage of ESEA, claimed by Congress to be necessary to provide better educational opportunities of low-income children. The strategy was to make education expenditures politically irresistible to create nationwide entitlements.
These two statutes were passed against the will of the people.
Just like the deception over education legislation, so is the national data clearinghouse legislation a deception – a deception to create a socialist state with centralized control.
During the CEP’s 2016 hearings, many grass-roots Americans spoke out against the creation of a national student tracking database, yet they were ignored – as evidenced by the introduction of H.R. 4174 and S. 2046. It seems that Beltway Republicans still haven’t gotten the message that grass-roots Americans are fed up with Big Brother – and politicians.
It will be up to grass-roots Americans to burn up the telephone lines and storm the offices of these left-wingers to stop this legislation before we end up in a police state.