NOW

There are TWO things right NOW

1) What I am thinking

2) What I am doing

The Educational CyberPlayGround, Inc. opinions and rants over past 25 years of being online!

The Digital Divide/Equity and Students online Privacy Rights

More than 100,000 public schools across the country have closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are expected to remain closed for weeks, and in some cases, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. More than 54 million children have been told that they won’t be attending class for the next several weeks.

Stay Healthy my friends!
My own family has healthcare workers on the front lines, so there is lots of anxiety, not everyone can isolate themselves. And I am grateful for their courage and their work. 8 million people who voted for Trump live in counties that have no ICU beds. That’s 1/8 of his support. Information about the COVID19  Virus

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

The K12 Department of Education Failure

K12 Educaton is a for profit business.
K12 Education is a For Profit Business
https://edu-cyberpg.com/k12-Dept-of-Edu-is-a-business.html

K12 Education Management Industry is a Business
Management Industry is a K12 Education Business
https://edu-cyberpg.com/K12-Education-Business.html

The Excuse used for the covid-19 remote learning failure?
Of course, blame  The Digital Divide which makes it unfair to grade anyone since everyone can’t get online to do the work. It just isn’t fair.
BUT BUT BUT the same population has never been able to take advantage of computers, and an internet connection from home over the last 25 years.
But the phone / cable companies have been paid to get America access with an E-rate plan buildout SCAM that never happened and this corruption was totally allowed by the FCC –  A total fail for America and a total win for the Oligarchy – Thanks Comcast, and Thanks Verizon.

2019 Philadelphia District survey in which only about half of 3rd- through 12th-grade students reported that they have the computers at home and online access.

Philadelphia “Brian Roberts’ father, Ralph, founded Comcast;
OLIGARCH .01%  Brian Roberts is now the CEO.
3/29/2020 Comast Philadelphia owner Brian Roberts billionaire family JUST NOW “donated” (IT’S A TAX WRITE OFF) A MEASLY 5 million dollars worth of computers – to the Philadelphia School System  yeah – 40,000 machines to all those children/families that should have had computers and connections in their homes for the past 25 years!!! Who donates the damn internet connection ? ……. um um um Comcast? Verizon?
Hey Brian Roberts what about those connections??????

WHAT THE HELL KIND OF AN EXCUSE DO THEY HAVE?
OH YEAH! let them wait until now when they can enjoy the most publicity they can steal.
50,000 new Chromebooks WHICH ONLY MAKES THE GOOGLE OLIGARCHS .01%  boys Sergie and Brin richer –  What is Google donating in Plague times for K12 education students suffering from the Digital Divide? <crickets>
AND WHAT ABOUT ALL THE SPYING GOOGLE DOES ON THE EDUCATION SOFTWARE GIVEN TO ALL THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT BREAK THE COPPA LAWS?
COPPA can collect $42,530 per violation (which basically is per person it affected). $170M is fractions of pennies of a full fine. Those feels when @google has violated individuals’ privacy so many times it gets a comparison chart for fines against it:

Brian Roberts claimed the idea belong to Brian Robert’s Father and that they offered this 20 years ago but that schools weren’t ready for them.
Schools were ready 15 years ago but Roberts took advantage of the COVID-19 opportunity to promote and display his “generosity” only when getting the most publicity he could get out of itAnd of course Brian could have always done this anonymously! ~ the chutzpa!!!

EAT THE RICH

Comcast is only NOW offering low-income families two months of free service through its Internet Essentials program.

They are billionairs so why isn’t this permanent?
The Internet Essentials program is normally available to all qualified low-income households in Comcast’s service area for $9.95/month.

This “Comcast tax write off” was also supposed to pay for nearly half the District’s cost of purchasing and distributing laptops for students.
But now…. Comcast owner Brian Roberts wants the Philly principals and staff to volunteer as part of a plan to hand out thousands of Chromebooks.
This stupid stingy  plan jeopardizes their health and
Billionarie Brian Roberts can Pay Service Workers for their work
 Philly principals, teachers leery of plan to distribute 50k laptops

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE HAS NEVER BEEN FAIR

Pandemic response lays bare America’s digital divide

The DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION will not be responsible, take responsibility and follow through.

  • Every Secretary of the Department of Educatation has failed to bridge The Digital Divide for the last 20 years.
  • They Decentivize students who work online from home  during this shutdown- nothing will  be graded, so what is the point!!!!
  • Social Promotion for all – all  students advance to the next grade no matter what.

Some public schools are calling online work “enrichment,” and not part of the curriculum, because they can’t guarantee that all students will have access to it. Students without the internet or home computers can’t do things online, and special-needs students may require accommodations to complete it. But that has always and forever been true not just now.

K12 websites, learning software and curricula have always had to comply with civil rights law and been made available to students with disabilities.

So why isn’t it working for students now? Because the School Districts Superintendents allowed them to buy bad / non 508 compliant unlawful software from vendors.

Public school students will find that the work they do while at home will only be considered something optional,  and won’t be graded.

The Department of Education is not being held accountable and they are ducking responsibility saying “It’s an equity issue.”

Accessible to all – has never been Accessible to All

The Department of Education has warned against using online learning that isn’t equitable. (code word = digital divide)

The  Department of Education has warned against using online learning that isn’t equitable. Online models must address equity issues.

For the past 20 years students there was a digital divide. Students always used the public library for online access, so that is not a truthful reason for why nothing’s being graded.

The U.S. Department of Education told educators that schools online learning must comply with civil rights laws, including making sure such tools are available to students with disabilities.
SEE assistive technology and special needs and gifted children

“EQUITABLE”  . . . well I know a little bit about that since it’s always been called the “Digital Divide”. I have the online articles about the money thrown at this problem for more than TWENTY years.

k12playground.comAre K12 School Websites Compliant? Let the class action law suits begin.

Are K12 School District websites 508  compliant?
Section 508 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which came into force in August 2001).

508 CODE TOOLS TO TEST USABILITY AND COMPLIANCE

SOCIAL PROMOTION
Schools will promote their students to the next grade in the fall – period!  School Administrators haven’t yet said how curricula in the fall may need to be adjusted to make up missed work.

 

Only 43% of 2012 year’s college-bound seniors met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark

 

END THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

THE HISTORIC BIG PICTURE

I’ve been tracking the “Digital Divide” problem in the United States for over 20 years. This is problem is NOT new and has never been solved.

DIGITAL EQUITY “Everyone has the right to education.”
Article 26 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 12/10/48
The law that established the Federal Communications Commission and remains its fundamental charter.
First paragraph of Section I: “. . . to make available so far as possible to all people of the United States without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, a rapid, efficient, nationwide and worldwide wire and radio-communications service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.”

Digital Divide VS. Digital Equity

The Department’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) is hosting regional Digital Equity Summits this spring and summer in six states.  The summits will bring together state and local education leaders and community collaborators to identify strategies, connect resources, and explore partnership opportunities to address local challenges concerning broadband access, affordability, and use for students at school and home.

Broadband – Bandwidth Explained

GLOSSARY OF DISTANCE EDUCATION AND
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TERMS created 1997 !!!!

K12 E-rate Education SuperHighway enables high-speed Internet in every classroom.
EducationSuperHighway.com
AFFORDABLE BROADBAND – WIFI – FIBER – CONNECTIVITY
Compare & Connect K-12 uses price transparency so school districts can get more broadband for their budgets. Should your ZIP code determine your access to the American dream?

Telephone Service: telco tricks do not provide telephone or broadband service The Digitally Divided Life.

Digital Divide/Equity Articles, Wireless Networks

Dewayne Hendricks, CEO of Dandin Group Wireless Device Bill of Rights

2000 The Dandin Group’s Dewayne Hendricks is setting up a wireless network at Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation that could be a model of the kind of network he wants–one that may have to circumvent FCC regulations on frequency, power, and transmission technology to deliver high-performance broadband. Complaints or blockage attempts by the FCC may be negated if the tribe asserts its Native American sovereignty; more importantly, Hendricks hopes it will put public pressure on the FCC to open up the spectrum. The FCC is concerned that unlicensed access to the full spectrum would give rise to too much transmission interference. Hendricks is convinced that spread spectrum technology will make a common-use spectrum workable, with technologies such as ultrawideband and dense-packet networks shoring things up if spread spectrum comes up short. So far, Hendricks’ team has set up wireless connections for Turtle Mountain Community College and a small group of other buildings. Turtle Mountain is one of four reservations whose colleges are being equipped for wireless as part of a $6 million National Science Foundation initiative administered by EDUCAUSE. (Wired, January 2002)

Donate, Get, or Recycle Computers for Learning

Americans with Disabilities Act of Cyberspace.”
“For disabled college students, professors’ increased use of the Web for instruction can create obstacles rather than clear them away. Many disabled students find that new technology cuts them off from the learning process. To prevent that, colleges are — among other things — designing Web sites and buying computer workstations that meet the needs of disabled students.” In “Making Web Sites Work for People With Disabilities” (by Andrea L. Foster, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, February 2, 2001, p. A30) read how colleges and universities are coping with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Children’s Rights K12 School Rights vs. Students Online privacy rights.

STUDENT PRIVACY RIGHTS

Massive Shift to Remote Learning Prompts Big Data Privacy Concerns

3/12/2020 Acting Director Kala Surprenant of the Student Privacy Policy Office discussed the Department’s guidance on the sharing of student education records during a health and safety emergency under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Archived

Student rights to privacy and
K12 School Rights vs. Students Online privacy rights.

The dangers to student privacy during this time when students are relying on tech products to connect to teachers. Federal laws—such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)—should help guide school leaders in deciding what new technologies to use. The rules, the regulations apply whether the student is actually in the classroom physically or is at home being taught through a distance learning framework.

Parents and eligible students who wish to file a complaint under FERPA should do so by completing the complaint form electronically. Please note that this form is an adobe fillable .pdf and works best when used with Adobe Acrobat.  Once you have completed the form you can click “Submit Form.”  This will attach the e-mail to your computer’s default e-mail software.  If you have not selected a default e-mail program or the one you selected does not open when clicking “Submit Form” you will need to save the form, manually attach it to an e-mail and send it to FERPA.Complaints@ed.gov.  Alternatively, you may print out the form, sign and mail it to the following address:

U.S. Department of Education
Student Privacy Policy Office
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520

The Department of Education Run by Trump’s appointed Betsy DeVoss is responsible for this official policy.

March 20, 2020 TESTING WAIVERS AND STUDENT LOAN RELIEF

Today, in his daily press conference with members of the Coronavirus Task Force, President Trump announced that Secretary DeVos was taking some additional actions to support students, educators, and schools impacted by COVID-19.

First, the Secretary announced that students impacted by school closures due to the pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-20 school year.  Upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students because of the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year.  Many states have closed some or all schools.  Therefore, any state unable to assess its students may seek a waiver from federal testing requirements by completing a form.  At the Secretary’s direction, the Department has dramatically streamlined the application process to make it as simple as possible for state leaders who are grappling with many complex issues.

Since student performance, as measured by assessments, is required to be used in statewide accountability systems, any state that receives a one-year waiver may also receive a waiver from the requirement that testing data be used in the statewide accountability system because of the ongoing national emergency.

A request for waivers of assessments, accountability and school identification, and reporting requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. Note that the Department will accept, process, and approve any appropriate waiver request; for assistance please contact OESE.Titlei-a@ed.gov. However, the Department plans to respond in one business day to a State educational agency that follows the example and provides all necessary information in an accessible way. Archived 3/20/2020

Second, the Secretary announced that Federal Student Aid (FSA) is executing on the President’s promise to provide student loan relief to tens of millions of borrowers during the national emergency.  All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days.  In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency.  This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.

The Secretary has also directed all federal student loan servicers to grant an administrative forbearance to any borrower with a federally held loan who requests one.  The forbearance will be in effect for a period of at least 60 days, beginning on March 13, 2020.  To request this forbearance, borrowers should contact their loan servicer online or by phone.

And, the Secretary has authorized an automatic suspension of payments for any borrower more than 31 days delinquent as of March 13, 2020, or who becomes more than 31 days delinquent, essentially giving borrowers a safety net during the national emergency.

Some borrowers may want to continue making payments, like those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or those enrolled in a repayment plan with a manageable monthly payment.  For borrowers continuing to make payments, the full amount of their payment will be applied to the principal amount of their loan once all interest accrued prior to March 13, 2020, is paid.  The Department is working closely with Congress to ensure all student borrowers, including those in income-driven repayment plans, receive needed support at this time.

A borrower who has experienced a change in income can always contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering their monthly payment.

Over the last two weeks, the White House, the Department of Education, and other federal agencies have released a significant amount of guidance to support schools, educators, and families regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  Many of the key documents are listed below.  The Department continues to update its COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information and resources web page with the most current information, and any questions for the Department may be directed to COVID-19@ed.gov.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION COVID-19 INFORMATION

PSAs will direct audiences to Coronavirus.gov.  PSAs and content will air and run during time and space donated by the media and coordinated by HHS and CDC.  Visit Coronavirus.AdCouncilKit.org for media assets.

On March 11, the Department of Labor published a final rule to help expand apprenticeships across the country by establishing a system for advancing the development of high-quality, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.

“The White House Task Force meets every day and continually updates guidelines based on the fast-evolving situation that this has become all over the world….  It’s incredible what’s happened in such a short period of time.  On the guidelines of the task force, the new modeling conducted by Dr. Birx, and our consultation with governors, we’ve made the decision to further toughen the guidelines and blunt the infection now.  We’d much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it, and that’s what we are.  Therefore, my Administration is recommending that all Americans — including the young and healthy — work to engage in schooling from home when possible.  Avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people.  Avoid discretionary travel.  And avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants, and public food courts.  If everyone makes…these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation, and we will defeat the virus.”

General Information –

Resources for Elementary and Secondary Schools –

Resources for Higher Education Institutions –

I am the public.
All public schools, public online charter schools,
and state run online school children are schooled with my tax money.
All public education services and products are bought with my taxes.

My https://cyberplayground.org/now page was inspired by a good idea from Derek Sivers