ATLANTA – The Gates Foundation-funded student data sharing service known as inBloom was once heralded as a game-changer for American education, but a lack of clients is forcing the organization to shut down operations.
InBloom CEO Iwan Streichenberger made the announcement on the nonprofit’s website Monday – less than three weeks after New York state canceled its agreement with the organization amid growing pressure from parents, teacher unions and lawmakers, the Associated Press reports.
New York represented the last of inBloom’s nine original customers.
From the AP:
“Launched in 2013 with $100 million in financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corp., the nonprofit’s goal was to give educators a data-based tool to personalize education. InBloom, based in Atlanta, offered to store and synthesize student data, such as grades, disciplinary actions and disability records in cloud-based servers.”
When the American people started raising a ruckus over the data-sharing plan, inBloom officials tried to comfort them with promises of top-level security for the sensitive student data. But in the wake of the NSA spying scandal, citizens from across the political spectrum scoffed at those assurances.
Parents in particular were angry that their children’s personal information was going to be farmed out to third-party contractors hired by their school district to provide K-12 technological classroom services. Some feared the data could eventually be accessed by prospective employers and college admissions officers.
InBloom’s demise represents a serious blow to the Common Core experiment. One of the main reasons K-12 leaders wanted nationalized learning standards was so the standardized tests could produce apples-to-apples student data that K-12 technology experts could use to analyze which teaching techniques were most effective, and which colleges of education produced the best teachers.
The data was going to help researchers understand the “science” of teaching and learning, and usher in a new era of public education excellence. But those plans have been put on hold – at least for now.
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In his published announcement, inBloom CEO Streichenberger hinted that while the nonprofit was calling it quits, using “technology to tailor instruction for individual students is still an emerging concept.”
If there’s one thing we know about the busybody progressives who are attempting to usurp control of America’s K-12 system, it’s that they never, ever give up. InBloom might be history, but rest assured that another company offering the same services will emerge at some point – probably after the hubbub over Common Core has died down – and K-12 leaders will try once again push this data project through.
The progressives are too invested in this idea to let it die so easily.
Common Core opponents should celebrate the end of inBloom as a victory, but only a temporary one.