March 1, 2021

Using Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms to Guide Education Choice

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The writing team at Accountabaloney has kept a watchful eye on Florida’s ongoing shenanigans, and their newest post is alarming. Florida’s legislature is considering SB48, a bill that would turn all of Florida’s voucher programs into Education Savings Accounts. ESAs are like super-vouchers, a grant of taxpayer money from the state that parents can spend on whatever education expenses they choose–not just private school tuition, but anything education-related.

The money is handled by a non-profit organization. In Florida’s case that’s Step Up For Students, and one of the mysteries of this kind of transition is how such a group would manage thousands of families choosing from thousands of education-flavored vendors. The answer, as reported on the blog, is scary:

In a recent podcast, Doug Tuthill outlined how Step Up for Students has created an e-commerce platform, that will collect data from its voucher recipients and use Artificial Intelligence and algorithms to guide them towards the “best educational options” for their children. Apparently, those “best educational options” will never be district managed public schools.

Algorithm-selected education. Massive data mining. All handled by non-transparent software. Turns out school choice is actually algorithm’s choice.

Follow this link to the full story.

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