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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

GOP Senator Cornyn Co-Sponsors Police State Bill

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D July 6, 2018 

Recently Texas U. S. Senator John Cornyn signed onto the College Transparency Act of 2017 (S.1121) that will overturn the ban on a federal student data system and establish lifelong tracking of individuals by the federal government. Proponents of the bill are licking their chops, claiming that support from the second ranking GOP Senator signals passage. 

The bill purports to be about transparency and analysis of Federal aid programs, college majors and future earnings. Yet the facts below show there is far more to the bill than what the public is being told. 

  • All enrollees in higher education will have their personally identifiable information (PII) collected without notice or consent, right to opt out, or right to review and correct data.

  • All private student data will be shared among multiple federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid; Social Security Administration; Census Bureau; and Departments of Treasury, Defense, and Veterans Affairs -- with others likely to be added.

  • All of the collected data along with data already held by federal agencies will be stored in a central federal database and routinely updated – in perpetuity.

  • There are no limits on the purposes for using the data.

  • The Commissioner of Education Statistics is required to periodically review the data elements and add more as needed.

  • Even though data provided to researchers is without identification, it's easy to identify the individual.

  • It does not mandate security audits and encryption and protocols for detection and notification of security breaches or address limits on data retention and minimization.

  • There is no reason for the federal government to collect data on college students because each public, private and for-profit two-year and four-year institution reports data about all students who entered a degree or certificate program, whether or not they are enrolled full-time or are first-time students. 

This brings up the question, then, about why the federal government needs personally identifiable information about a student. Or why it is involved in federal aid to students. Or even why it is involved in higher education, a right that is left to the states under the Tenth Amendment. 

Critics of the bill, including Congresswoman Dr. Virginia Foxx who authored the 2008 amendment that bans a student database, are highly concerned about the total loss of our Fourth Amendment right to privacy if the ban is overturned. 

They have good reason to fear because the federal government has a long track record of lying to the American people about their seizing unconstitutional control over a function, demanding data, and then stripping people of their Constitutional rights through strangling regulations over their lives. 

The D.C. establishment lied about the No Child Left Behind reauthorization of the unconstitutional Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the latest reauthorization, Every Student Succeeds Act. Despite claims to the contrary, these bills seized more federal control over education while demanding massive quantities of data on students. 

To accomplish this, the feds required each state to create a longitudinal database system to store PII that is collected during standardized testing and while children are using online curriculum programs. 

Once there is a national student database, it will be a simple matter to connect all state databases with the national database. And there you have it. A dossier on each person like that found in China and other totalitarian nations. 

If the College Transparency Act of 2017 passes, the federal government will be able to track you throughout your life using education, financial, medical, employment, wage, and workforce data. 

It's unlikely the D.C. swamp is going to listen to the people and stop this Orwellian bill dead in its tracks. It's up to the American people to put populism on steroids and take back what we have ceded to this behemoth government.

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