Crazy Crawfish’s Blog -
Sometimes life hands you stories that are simply better than any cheap fiction you can pick up from a newsstand or checkout line. Take for example this on-again-off-again “data sharing” relationship between Iwan Streicheicenberger, CEO of inBloom, (a data piracy and reselling outfit masquerading as a non-profit student-centric organization) and John White, student data pimp, (masquerading as a state Superintendent of Education.)
At first, Iwan and inBloom were avidly pursuing a relationship with John White and John White didn’t even know they existed when he first rolled into town. Before long though, over a few leisurely dinners, John was being wooed by Peter Gorman, Iwan’s Cyrano d’ Bergerac over at Wireless Generation (the authors of the inBloom database run by Iwan) the air beneath his wings, and his recharger.
If you are available for dinner on Wednesday night, I would love to take you and discuss Broad school reform and other issues but no pressure on that either. I know how precious an evening with family, time at the gym, or just a little down time can be to recharge your batteries.” (Peter Gorman/Cyrano)
“Dude—you are my recharger! Dinner it is, of course. Then let’s visit some schools Thursday. I’m really looking forward to it.” (John White)
Kind of a lame corporate pick-up line, but it seemed to work. I’m not exactly sure what the code phrase for “visit some schools” really means, but I’m thinking that might be their secret code or a reformer euphemism for doing lines of coke off of school playground swing sets. (Just a guess.)
Before long John White discovered he really like the idea of the data sharing agreement. He could trade the data of other people’s children in return for corporate favors and recharging dinners. White even decided to hook up inBloom with his other clients, interests like all the Course Choice providers written down in his little black book.
Eventually people caught onto this arrangement between John White and inBloom and White claimed in thisMonroe News Star article in April 19th that he had “withdrawn” all data from inBloom out of an abundance of care for parents. Nevertheless White repeatedly refused to allow anyone to see the letter or correspondence he sent to inBloom to cancel the contract, as well as the original contract that was signed, but told parents and BESE members to just “trust him.” Numerous Freedom of Information requests were filed by retired educator and former BESE candidate Lee Barios of www.Geauxteacher.net and Tom Aswell fromLouisiana Voice, and BESE member Lottie Beebe (a first for BESE needing to file a formal request for public records that White claimed publicly existed) yet it took a filed lawsuit for White to finally produce the necessary documents a few days before the June 6th BESE meeting for John White to produce the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and Service agreement contract between inBloom and the Louisiana Department of Education.
I saw reviewed some of this contract on my smartphone, after just a few minutes and noticed quite a few alarming details right off the back. I did my best to bring these to the attention of BESE when I was my turn to speak (for a few minutes) and left notes for others to cover in their time allocations, however it was clear I needed to review this in more detail.
After leaving the BESE meeting I did review this contract and wrote up a point by point review of nearly the entire “service contract” which was way more scary and far reaching than had been revealed until this point. I also forwarded my review to every BESE member although none responded to me about this analysis.
Some key points of my review:
- inBloom was secretly contracted to take over numerous reports for state and federal reporting
- InBloom can infinitely subcontract any and all work to anyone they choose without recourse or input from LDOE/customer (14.3)
- inBloom can sell off entire contract to any other non-profit for any reason and with no input or recourse for LDOE (14.1)
- much more data was to be contained on inBloom’s database despite the shifty assurances White made otherwise (Attachment E paragraph 2 and 3)
- A certified letter was required to cancel the contract, and it took 90 days for that cancellation to be considered final (8.2 &14.6)
- Insurance obtained for security breaches/violations is minimal, less than a dollar per every student that might be retained on database and is only required to be retained for “intial term” (13)
- inBloom does not warrant usage is compliant with FERPA and that states are liable for any finding otherwise, and any/all damage done to students as a result of unauthorized usage, theft or access. (11.2)
- The contract contained a provision to renew forever if both parties mutually agreed (8)
- Audits must be performed at customer’s expense (14.2)