From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


8/7/2002 2:20:39 PM
Scott W. Somerville, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Ohio--Statewide Student Identifier System Announced

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 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 ethnicity ("black," "white," "Asian,"
etc.). 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

While some home school families may wish to participate in a
statewide database of this sort, most will prefer 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 to be collected for any statewide database.
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 home schoolers in
this database.

Long ago Edmund Burke said, "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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