Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

Uncle Sam Wants Your Child on his National Database

By Sam Blumenfeld
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #26, 1998.

Pin It

Sam Blumenfeld


The U.S. Department of Education is now getting its student database online. The first step towards this database was the Student Data Handbook for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education (NCES 94-303), released in 1994. Comprised of 228 pages plus about 100 pages of appendices, this handbook can be obtained from the U.S. Dept. of Education. Send for your own copy and prepare to be appalled. Or, just read this article and find out what to do.

The rationale for the handbook is described in Chapter 1 in typical bureaucratese:

Accurate and comprehensive information is needed in order to make appropriate cost-effective and timely decisions about students within both public and private schools [our emphasis]. . . .The handbook identifies concepts and data elements which are used to describe and make decisions about students. Some decisions are very specific, pertaining to personal needs, vocational choices, and educational programs of individual students. Other decisions are broader in scope, concerning the planning and management of education for large groups of students . . .

No Real Confidentiality

Although lip service is paid to confidentiality as required in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the law allows information in student records to be disclosed "without student or parental permission" to nine categories, from "school employees" to "certain government officials."

Cracking the Code

What kind of data will the system collect? The most detailed personal information - including enough information to make it simple for the government to identify and single out any group of children (and their families) whose beliefs or practices the government might want to suppress.

The system uses a number code for each specific piece of information. For example, codes 001 to 012 deal with the student's name. Codes 013 to 036 deal with the student's background, which includes Identification Number (013), Identification System (014) with fourteen subcategories: 01 Driver's license number, 02 Health record number, 03 Medicaid Number, 04 Migrant Student Records Transfer System (MSRTS) number, 05 Professional Certificate or License Number, 06 School-Assigned Number, 07 Selective Service Number, 08 Social Security Administration Number, 09 College Board/ACT code set of PK-grade 12 institutions, 10 Local Education Agency (LEA) number, 11 State Education Agency (SEA) number, 12 U.S. Department of Education, National Center of Statistics (NCES) number, 13 other organization number (e.g., Roman Catholic Diocese or association number), 99 other. In addition, the student's religious background is identified, in many cases right down to the individual denomination.

Homeschoolers Are Numbered, Too

Will homeschoolers be included in this data-gathering system? Under Address/Contact Information we find that code 056 "Non-Resident Attendance Rationale - The reason that the student attends a school outside of his or her usual attendance area," contains 10 subcategories, including 07 "Home Schooling - The student is receiving educational instruction offered in a home environment, as regulated by state law, for reasons other than health." Thus, homeschoolers are not only included, but have their own code number: 056-07.

Under "Discontinuing Schooling Reason" (112) we find subcategory 19 "Religion - The student left school because of religious convictions."

Under "Non-Entrance Information" we find category 116 "Reason for Non-Entrance in Local or Secondary School," under which we find subcategory 03 "Home Schooling - The individual is receiving educational services offered in a home environment for reasons other than health." Also under 116 we find subcategory 05 "Religious Reason - The individual or his or her parent/guardian has religious convictions that prohibit participation in the educational program of the school or education agency, and the individual is not receiving approved instruction elsewhere." Thus, the government controllers cover all bases.

Assessment Information

Data on students will also include extensive assessment information. Under "Assessment Type" 189 we find the following subcategories: 01 Achievement Test, 02 Advanced Placement Test, 03 Aptitude Test, 04 Attitudinal Test - "An assessment to measure the mental and emotional set or patterns of likes and dislikes or opinions held by a student or a group of students. This is often used in relation to considerations such as controversial issues or personal adjustments," 05 Cognitive and Perceptual Skills Test, 06 Developmental Observation, 07 Interest Inventory, 08 Language Proficiency Test, 09 Manual Dexterity Test, 10 Mental Ability (Intelligence) Test, 11 Performance Assessment, 12 Personality Test - "An assessment to measure a student's affective or nonintellectual aspects of behavior such as emotional adjustment, interpersonal relations, motivation, interests, and attitudes," 13 Portfolio Assessment, 14 Psychological Test - "An assessment to measure a sample of behavior in an objective and standardized way," 15 Psychomotor Test, 16 Reading Readiness Test.

Note that the assessment tests are in complete harmony with School-to-Work and Outcome-Based Education. Note also that attitudinal tests have zero academic value. Their sole purpose is to determine whether or not a child has been successfully indoctrinated in the worldview favored by the current elite. This sort of data just begs to be abused. Imagine government officials calling up a list of all children who object to homosexual behavior, or who believe the current government exceeds its constitutional scope. Finally, what need is there for such information about any student (academic grades and achievement test results aside) to be kept in his or her permanent record? Reading readiness, to pick one example, is a transient quality, irrelevant once one has learned to read.

All About Your Teeth

It's hard to imagine a more intrusive data-gathering system than this one, and it's difficult to exaggerate the thoroughness of the system. For example, under Health Conditions we find the category of Oral Health with the following code designations: 230 Number of Teeth, 231 Number of Permanent Teeth Lost, 232 Number of Teeth Decayed, 233 Number of Teeth Restored, plus nine more subcategories covering occlusions, soft tissue condition, dental prosthetics, and orthodontic appliances. (It's so important to keep information about your child's braces on his permanent record.)

Socialized Medicine Via Education

If the liberals can't get socialized medicine though the health care system, they'll get it through the education system. Take a look at code number 331 (Service Provider Type) and subcategory 02 (Health Nurse), defined as a

Certified, licensed, registered nurse or nurse practitioner who provides any of the following services:

  1. Case finding activities to include health appraisal, screening for developmental maturational/milestones, vision and hearing acuity, speech, dental deviations, spinal deviations, growth, and nutritional disorders.

  2. Nursing care procedures that include immunization, medication-monitoring and administration, nursing assessment, and procedures related to the health impaired student's individual Health Plan (IHP).

  3. Care coordination and outreach to children who do not otherwise receive preventive health care, follow-ups to assure referral completion, home visits for follow-up planning or home environment assessment, and interim prenatal or family planning and monitoring.

  4. Patient/student counseling or instruction to include nursing assessment, counseling, and anticipatory guidance to maintain wellness or provide assistance for identified health problems or concerns . . .

What kind of individual will emerge from an "education" system as all-encompassing and suffocating as this one? American children will be serviced to death by their own government, which will surround them with teachers and specialists tormenting them with endless tests, emotional probing, strip searching, and required politically-correct performances. This is a system designed to turn every healthy youngster who enters it into an academically crippled, emotionally confused neurotic.

Do We Need This?

We are told that the government needs all of this incredibly detailed information so that effective decisions can be made for the student by bureaucrats, teachers, administrators, and others on the government's payroll. But what it all adds up to is a tool of behavioral control and management of the American population by the controlling elite. The government of a free people does not go about creating the most detailed and thorough personal dossier in history on each citizen from his date of birth.

What Should We Do?

The first and best step is homeschooling. If your child never enters the "system," he's not going to end up taking attitudinal tests whose results will be stored forever without your knowledge.

Never submit any "intentions to homeschool," test results, learning plans, or other information not required by your state's laws.

Join Home School Legal Defense Association, if you haven't already. HSLDA (www.hslda.org) has consistently - and successfully - fought all efforts to impose national standards and a national database, and all state efforts to gather intrusive data about homeschooled children.

The separation of school and state would solve this problem completely, for those willing to take a longer-term view. Towards that end, you might want to visit the Separation of School and State Alliance site, at www.SepSchool.org.

Finally, pray. Pray for our kids. Pray for all the kids in school. Pray for our elected representatives. Pray for our country. It's time to stand up . . . and not be numbered.


Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

Time4Learning University of Nebraska High School

Articles by Sam Blumenfeld

The Whole-Language Boondoggle

High School for Freedom!

Dyslexia: The Man-Made Disease

Teach Reading to the “Learning Disabled”

Uncle Sam Wants Your Child on his National Database

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Teach Reading to the "Learning Disabled"

Homeschooling and Charter Schools

Homeschoolers and Vouchers

The History of Public Education

College At Home

Learning from The "Old Dead Guys"

The Meaning of Educational Freedom

The Importance of Rote Learning

The Exodus Continues

A World Without Public School

The Benefits of Teaching History at Home

How to Tell Real from Phony Phonics?

Getting Started in Arithmetic

Teaching Arithmetic

Teaching the Alphabet

Teaching the Alphabet Sounds

Teaching Blends

Teaching Long Vowels

The History of Geometry Education

Never Bored Again

Learning Greek

How and Why to Teach Shakespeare

How to Get the Most Out of Homeschool Conventions

Forgotten American History: The Barbary Wars

Forgotten American History: God's Providence in the American Revolution

Forgotten American History: The Spanish-American War

Forgotten American History: The Great Awakening

Forgotten American History: Puritan Education

Colonial Education: The Free Market in Action

America Started with Educational Freedom

How Harvard Became Liberal

The Glory of the Alphabet

19th Century Communists & the Origin of American Public Education

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

It Pays to Know Your Legislator

Intelligent by Design

Teaching Kids to Enjoy Classical Music

Before Compulsory Education: The Private Academies

What Schools Teach: Then and Now

The Real Meaning of Easter

The Truth About Independence Day

The Benefits of Reading Biographies

Why We Celebrate Veterans Day

The Purposes of Education

Why Homeschoolers Should be Book Collectors

How History Was Taught Back Then

The American Almanac: A Great Learning Tool

The Fun of Going to an Antiques Auction

Politics and Homeschoolers: A Primer

A Novel Suggestion

Who Wrote Shakespeare?

Why Homeschoolers Should Learn Public Speaking

The Presidency

Party Politics in the United States

The Road to an American Independent Nation

George Washington: Our First President's First Term

George Washington: Our First President's Second Term

Celebrating Flag Day

Popular Articles

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

The Charlotte Mason Method

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Combining Work and Homeschool

Whole-Language Boondoggle

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Laptop Homeschool

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Bears in the House

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

Montessori Math

Myth of the Teenager

I Was an Accelerated Child

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

AP Courses At Home

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

Who Needs the Prom?

Teaching Blends

A Reason for Reading

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

Character Matters for Kids

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

The History of Public Education

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Critical Thinking and Logic

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

The Gift of a Mentor

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

How to Win the Geography Bee

The Charlote Mason Approach to Poetry

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

The Benefits of Debate

Narration Beats Tests

Teach Your Children to Work

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

Getting Organized Part 3

Phonics the Montessori Way

Shakespeare Camp

University Model Schools

Start a Nature Notebook

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Classical Education

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"