Education Information/Management Systems (EIS) are used to track student performance, store academic records, and monitor teacher performance. The Common Core of Data (CCD) is a comprehensive national database used by the US Department of Education. WVEIS 2.0 is currently being used in the WV school system. According to RESA, “WVEIS is a networked computerized data system that includes a comprehensive Student Management System that manages student records including demographics, attendance, scheduling and grading for all active, inactive and graduated students.”
Seems efficient enough. What’s the problem?
Many parents “get” the potential negatives of featuring their young children on the internet and wisely avoid much social media exposure or online presence. Although showing off our children and grandchildren on Facebook seems rather harmless, the danger of someone accessing and misusing that information is real. In a similar way, online tracking by the government has troubling implications if things turn sour. One can’t extricate from government tracking, so it may be wise to just avoid it as much as possible.
You may find it concerning that the U.N. boasts that nearly all children can be tracked, except those in private educational settings.
U.N. position papers support school choice, if through the funding mechanism the programs can bring the children under the public school system umbrella and place all their records in the government’s database. It’s not necessary for students to actually attend a government school, as long as their records are available to the government. School funding, such as the Hope Scholarship, accomplishes that goal.
Currently in West Virginia, privately-funded homeschoolers are not required to have WVEIS numbers.
Even before Hope, there was a concerted effort to assign WVEIS numbers to all homeschoolers. We wrote about it in 2020. It was perhaps our first indication that family information was being tracked by the state. CHEWV encouraged parents to be aware of what they are required to submit, providing additional information only judiciously.
Mike Donnelly, then HSLDA attorney for WV, wrote to the State Superintendent in 2022: “It has come to my attention that the West Virginia Department of Education is instructing, enabling, and requiring West Virginia Boards of Education (“BOE”) to create West Virginian Education Information System (“WVEIS”) identification numbers for homeschooled students. Contrary to your assurances otherwise, it appears that you have authorized your staff to permit or require county staff to enter information into WVEIS, for the purpose of ‘tracking’ assessment completion for home educated students. Because this is not authorized by law…”
As you can tell, this is a freedom we don’t take lightly. EIS attention seems to have turned from private homeschoolers for now as the less-controversial Hope Scholarship resulted in willing EIS participation by hundreds of families.
Regardless of whether EIS numbers bother you or not, we encourage you to be aware of the implications so that you can make an informed choice about allowing an EIS number to be assigned to your child. CHEWV maintains that God made parents responsible for their own children. It’s our privilege to make you aware of how these issues could affect you and them.