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Herricks Stands Firm Against InBloom

The Herricks Board of Education held its monthly trustees meeting on Thursday Jan. 9. New York State and the new policy of student data mining was at the forefront of the conversation.

 

Trustee Brian Hassan also gave an update on the Herricks District and their slow-but-sure progress on combating the encroachment of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and sharing of personal student information with a third party data collection company called InBloom.

 

“It looks like, from the most recent New York State Legislative session, that our cause is gathering some support in Albany,” he said. “The next round of data scheduled to be sent by the State Education Department I believe is February...I don’t know if they’ve made a decision about that data and if it’s going to be released yet.” 

 

Board of Education President James Gounaris stated that he has been having regular meetings regarding the InBloom situation, including one scheduled for next week Ken Wagner, associate commissioner of curriculum, assessment and educational technology for NYSED; however, he didn’t sound hopeful for a positive outcome.

 

“He’s going to tell me how great it all is and the whole bit,” he said. “And I actually had a conversation Saturday at another meeting with a consultant for InBloom, and I told him it didn’t really matter who he consulted for...we just didn’t want to be part of it any longer, because they’re can’t give us assurances of our student’s data being secure and what they’re planning on doing with it.”

 

Budget Talk Approaching

Another topic at the meeting was the news that the shaping of the preliminary 2014-15 Herircks School District budget was underway, and would be covered in more depth in the upcoming February meetings.

“We began our contract negotiation discussion with the administrators unit two weeks ago, and we begin tomorrow with the Herricks Teacher’s Association,” Gounaris said. “We’re all looking into good things to come out of all of those negotiations.””

 

Students Talk With Board

Prior to the start of the trustees meeting, the board held a Q&A session with assorted Herricks High School students, covering topics that ranged from security, scheduling, and curriculum to student and teacher performance.