On social media yesterday someone asked me what exactly I was doing to stop data-driven “personalized” ed-tech education, and I realized I hadn’t posted the video for the informational picket I set up outside the Philadelphia Education Fund’s February Education First Compact Meeting. Since the focus of the meeting was data, I decided to ask attendees to complete a survey that required some self reflection about their complicity in the ongoing defunding of Philadelphia’s public schools and how data-driven education was actually about profiting from the unpaid digital labor of students. I also included information about changes that had been made by the Philadelphia Education Fund to their event registration policy that allows them to screen people wanting to attend these meetings. If you’d like to print or adapt the survey for your own use you can download it here.
I also created a video summary of this action. Remember, you don’t need a lot of people to start an education campaign. Just one or two people who are willing to show up with materials and document the proceedings can be enough to get things rolling. The meeting took place at the United Way Building on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. It is important to know that the United Way is heavily involved in pushing data collection on children and promoting the use of social impact bonds to fund early childhood education and was a facilitator of the problematic Salt Lake City pre-k SIB. The gentleman from the United Way came out that morning and took a photo of the banner seen in the image above about children not being impact investment opportunities.
This is a video summary of the action. Apologies for the poor camera work; it is challenging to hand out papers and hold the camera at the same time. I was grateful to have the support of my friend Barbara who spoke eloquently about the importance of fully-staffed and resourced libraries to authentic literacy education. Even though data-driven education proponents might like to push literacy as an “evidence-based” online app, we know reading books of one’s choice and discussing those books with educators and friends is truly what changes lives.
This is the survey we handed out to attendees.
This is a screen shot of the email describing the agenda of the meeting and the speakers.
This is a copy of the “voluntary” subscription page. You are only guaranteed access if you pay $100-$750 to become a subscriber. Kind of makes it hard to get excited about “local control,” doesn’t it? Especially given that the Mayor’s Office of Education is in favor of special meetings on education policy with “diverse stakeholders.”