From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


7/22/2002 2:55:46 PM
Scott W. Somerville, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Ohio--Statewide Student Identifier System to Be Implemented

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The Ohio Department of Education has announced a "Statewide Student
Identifier System" to be implemented this coming school year. The new
system is intended to help track test results based on the race and
gender of children. School districts will collect specific data about
each child, including the child's name, birth date, place of birth,
gender, native language, and race. The new system is intended to
strip all personally identifiable information from students, allowing
policy makers to track them only by a number.

When a similar system was implemented in Massachusetts several years
ago, home schoolers were surprised to find districts asking them for
information not required by law, such as the child's middle name. We
anticipate that many Ohio home schoolers will find their districts
requesting new information this year as well.

While some home school families may wish to participate in a
statewide database of this sort, many families wish to preserve their
privacy, especially in light of the troubling "Big Brother" aspects
of such a system. It is essential that school districts understand
that home schoolers are not public school students, and that home
school records are not collected as part of a statewide public school
system. Each district that demands a child's middle name or place of
birth as part of the home school notification process may be presumed
to include home schoolers in the Statewide Student Identifier System.
If home schoolers submit to the school district's demand for this
information, they encourage the inclusion of all their district's
home schoolers in this database.

Edmund Burke said, long ago, "The price of liberty is eternal
vigilance." For Ohio home schoolers this fall, the price of liberty
means not providing a child's middle name and place of birth. Our
resolve in the face of this request will preserve our independence in
an ever more computerized age.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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