[2018] ** Motion 56 Data misuse

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress notes that in the field of education data is often analysed in a shallow manner by political interests to support particular policy agendas, to the detriment of effective teaching and learning practice in schools, often leading to target setting, league table, “teaching to the test” approaches.

Congress believes that assessment in schools should be driven by the needs of the learner, not by data demands of the system.

Congress acknowledges that quality data is critical to evidence-based decision-making but expresses its concern about the growing abuse of covert data gathering, such as the practices highlighted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the misuse of such data by unscrupulous parties with significant implications for personal privacy and security being posed by this practice.

In particular, Congress is concerned at the gathering of para-data, by agencies such as OECD in its Programme for International Student Assessments, almost always without explicit consent or even knowledge of survey participants.

Congress instructs the General Council to:
i. support affiliates campaigning against the abuse of data in education policy and practice
ii. investigate the ethical, operational, and legal issues pertaining to the use of para-data
iii. campaign for transparency and full disclosure around data-gathering exercises.

Educational Institute of Scotland