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House Passes Longitudinal Data Bill

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, February 25, passed House Bill 125 which would dramatically increase the amount of data that the State of Alabama collects on its school children.

HB125 was sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur).

State Representative Tim Wadsworth (R-Winston County) said, “Bill requires State when you start pre-k to be assigned a number that follows you rest of your life through schools and jobs. I am so against this bill. Privacy will no longer exist.”

Alabama Legislative Watchdogs Director and Common Core opponent Ann Eubank told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Why do we need a centralized database. There is no way that this will be secure. I am so angry. The disappointment I have is incalculable.”

Eubank said that the legislature was putting corporate interests ahead of the well-being and privacy of the children of the state. “Alabama has become a Government controlled crony capitalist state.”

HB125 creates the Alabama Longitudinal Data System to provide for the matching of information about students from early learning through postsecondary education and into employment. To manage that mountain of data the bill create the Alabama Office of Education and Workforce Statistics. The bill would require the State Board of Education, the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Community College System, and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education to define remediation and the process of remediation to be utilized.

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Each student will receive a State-assigned identifier, so they can be tracked through the system. Educational date related to student performance includes: Student performance on state and national assessments; courses taking and completed; grade point average; remediation; retention; degrees, diplomas, certificates, or credentials attained; enrollment; and demographic data.

The State longitudinal data system records may not include: Juvenile delinquency records; criminal and juvenile records; medical and health records; and discipline records.

Workforce Data records in the state system will include: employment status; wage information; geographic location of employment; employer information; and field of employment.

According to the bill, the Alabama Longitudinal Data System is a statewide data system created to match information about students from early learning through postsecondary education and into employment. The purpose of the system includes the generation of timely and accurate information about deidentified student performance that can be used to enhance the education system of the state and guide decision makers at all levels, to further facilitate the enhancement of college and career ready students through the linkage of educational data and workforce data.

The Alabama Office of Education and Workforce Statistics will be a separate division under the Department of Labor, and to be headed by a Chief Policy Officer who will be appointed by the Governor from a list of nominations made by the advisory board of the office.

The Advisory Board of the office shall consist of the following members:

The Commissioner of Labor, who shall serve as co-chair of the advisory board.

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The Secretary of Information Technology, who shall serve as the co-chair of the advisory board.

The Governor’s Education Policy Advisor.

The Chair of the Senate Education Budget.

The Chair of the House Education Budget Committee.

A representative of the State Board of Education who shall be appointed by the Governor to serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms.

The State Superintendent of Education, or his or her designee.

A representative of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees, who shall be appointed by the Governor to serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms.

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The Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, or his or her designee.

The Chief Academic officer at the University of Alabama System, or his or her designee.

The Chief Academic officer at Auburn University, or his or her designee.

The Chief Academic officer at the University of South Alabama, or his or her designee.

The Chief Academic officer at a state public historically black college or university, or his or her designee, to be nominated by the Governor.

The Chief Academic officer at a State public regional university, or his or her designee, to be nominated by the Governor.

The President of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, or his or her designee.

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The Chair of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, or his or her designee.

The Secretary of the Department of Early Childhood Education, or his or her designee.

The Secretary of Commerce, or his or her designee.

The State Service Commissioner of the State Department of Veterans Affairs, or his or her designee.

The Executive Director of the Economic Development Association of Alabama, or his or her designee.

The Chair of the Alabama Workforce Council, or his or her designee.

One information technology expert representing private industry with expertise in large data systems and data security, who shall be appointed by the Governor to serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms.

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One representative of the local school system superintendents in this state, who shall be appointed by the Governor to serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms.

One representative of the public, who shall be appointed by the Governor to serve no more than one three-year term.

All members of the advisory board shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority and shall reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban and rural, and economic diversity of the State.

Members of the advisory board shall not receive any compensation or expense reimbursement for serving on the advisory board. The advisory board shall meet semi-annually and at other times, upon the call of the chair.

The bill passed with an Amendment added that requires any school that receives State funds will be included, so this also applies to many private schools.

The bill passed the House 70 to 29.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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Brandon Moseley
Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,297 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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