South Bay Education Alliance (SBEA) 

is a Nonpartisan Organization created to ensure 

Excellence in Education remains a top priority in our schools.

WHO IS PANORAMA 

AND WHY ARE THEY SO INTERESTED IN OUR CHILDREN?

Panorama is a company headed by the son-in-law of US Attorney General Merrick Garland (who recently issued a not-so-veiled threat against parents), and was initially funded by Mark Zuckerberg. Our South Bay schools have contracts with Panorama to collect data on students. Beach Cities Health District has also signed contracts with Panorama, so they may also gather data on students.

 While the concept of a survey may seem innocent, parents should made aware about the type of data being collected from their children, which includes their beliefs, perceptions and behavior. How is this not an invasion of their privacy? The personally identifiable data will be stored on Panorama’s database and owned by Panorama. 

Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) has also partnered with the schools and Panorama in order to gather data on students.  

Their contract specifies that Parental Consent is not an obligation of BCHD nor the school district and that the school district is granting access to this data on behalf of parents. 

Every Parent Should Ask:  
Why are our schools so interested in gathering data on children and what is their plan with that student specific  information? 

When Common Core was introduced into the curriculum, it ushered in MTSS – Multi Tiered System of Support.  This provided the avenue for schools to broaden their role beyond education, incorporating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into the curriculum. 

SEL provides the pathway for schools to delve into the psychology of the child, without parent knowledge or consent.  This is called educating the “Whole Child” and this is why surveys are given to every student.  For a recap on what SEL eventually leads to, click here for the newsletter “The Child Soldiers of Portland”.  In our local schools, they are beginning the process of introducing SEL videos on a daily basis, similar to what was done in Portland. 

The goal of some in academia is to usurp the role of parents and impose a different perspective and ideology in the classroom.   Will teachers who now have access to student specific data shift their focus to those students who do not answer the surveys “correctly”?  Parents should ask and be aware.

There are numerous examples of how SEL infringes on student privacy – a few examples can be found on this Panorama SEL Interventions toolkit which may be read here.  

This includes: Encouraging the students to write a journal (is this really the job of the school, and will the teacher read a student’s private journal entries?), asking them about their emotions or nervousness or discussing Brain Breaks, examples of which can be found here.  Yes, we would like to set aside the sarcasm, but how is it that the person who controls Instagram, which is now known to cause harm to children’s emotional health, has now funded another company which is offering psychological advice to those same children – through the schools.  Most likely without the knowledge of parents, and in place of an actual education that parents think the school is providing.  

Teachers Can “Check In” With Your Child on a Daily Basis

Unless you as the parent opts out, a teacher or admin can conduct daily emotional checks on a student – most likely without parent consent.  While on the surface it may appear that this is out of concern, unfortunately, based upon the teacher, this may not have good consequences. 

Watch this video here to get a sense of what teachers will be permitted to do and the types of questions they can ask, such as “would you like to talk privately with an adult from the school”.  We emphasize again that while these may sound well intentioned, without prior parent consent (with full disclosure to them of what is being learned and evaluated) , the parent loses control and visibility into what teachers are discussing with children that is unrelated to coursework.  

Many schools have been discussing the Anchor Standards, which are grounded in CRT principles.  One of the standards is “Identity”.  Daily “Checks Ins” can provide the avenue for continued queries on a child’s identity by the teacher, without the knowledge of parents.  This has been happening across the country, and parents should be wary.  

See For Yourself How Panorama Views the Role of the Schools

Watch this video from Jessica Meisenheimer and listen carefully to her outline their intentions here.  It is important to realize that Panorama’s goal is not excellence in education but delving into the mind of a child, among other things: “What we want our students to look like when they leave us…. What do we need to do so that we are helping build them towards what they want our graduate to look like”.  

We hope parents will start to realize this philosophy is being taught or demanded of teachers –  that their role is not to focus as much on their subject matter, but instead “shape” the students.  

Student Specific Information is Tracked by Teachers 

Intervention is a main part of the Panorama service offering: see link here.  Intervention was originally conceived as a way to address at-risk youth, but parents need to ask their schools how “Intervention” is being used at the district. Every parent should ask the schools:  Can the schools intervene without parent consent?  

 Over the years, as the school gathers more data on your child, will they use it to create a psychological profile? We know that Panorama will be collecting this data.  Are you, as the parent, willing to take the risk that a 3rd party will have this data on your child, even if the data appears to be a list of innocent questions? Sometimes they are not so innocent, they are personal, such as asking your child who they associate with.  Is this a litmus test?  Why is it the business of the school who your child has as friends?  

The listing of what teachers can do with this information goes on and on – and not in a good way. We encourage parents to advocate on behalf of their children and not trust the intentions of the schools with these surveys.  

For anyone who feels that the above may sound a bit alarmist, note this quote from the CEO of Panorama, Aaron Fuerer and note how this all ties back to Critical Race Theory:

“We commit to dismantling systemic racism, we commit to embodying and spreading anti-racist practices, and we commit to building systems of opportunity and possibility for students of color. Important areas of impact include student voice, social-emotional learning and mental health, anti-racism practices, diversity and inclusion practices, equitable [Multi-Tiered System of Supports] and behavior practices, conversations around race and identity, recruiting and supporting teachers of color, and systemic approaches to equity.”

CALL TO ACTION! GET ALL ANSWERS IN WRITING!

1. Ask the school administration if it is a teacher/admin’s decision to conduct an intervention and if the parent will be notified in advance.  

2. Ask what is the criteria for intervention.  Do not let the school conflate academic intervention with an SEL beliefs and perceptions intervention.

3. Ask how often teachers/admins will conduct surveys and what will they be permitted to do with the data.

4. Parents can choose to opt out of all surveys, see how here.  Parents should be fully aware of the school’s SEL activities with students to ensure informed consent. 

5. Contact your school board and demand they stop the use of Panorama, stop focusing on the psychology of your children, and turn their attention back to education. 

6. Consider stepping up for school board.  The only way this stops is when the school board insists it stops.  Until then, this will continue and it will become more difficult to deprogram your children once they are home.  They are in school for 6 hours and the teachers wield a tremendous amount of influence.  As you can see, teachers are using this to their advantage. Not all teachers, but enough are willing participants and can cause lasting harm and override your values as the parent. 

 

We DO support diversity of thought in the classroom and high standards for students of all ethnicities. 

We DO support teaching students how to think but not what to think.  

We DO NOT support the new educational ideology that prioritizes equal outcomes (equity) ahead of excellence and seeks to divide us on the basis of race. 

Happening Now!

MB:  At the October 20 board workshop, MBUSD gave the go ahead to implement every recommendation from CLEAR, the CRT based entity. 
 
RB:  The school board is now talking about creating a Social Justice Committee in order to weave Social Justice throughout the curriculum.  Read about the California proposed math framework (Putting The Pieces of the Puzzle Together newsletter) in which math is no longer just math, it is about Social Justice.  In the world of Social Justice, Excellence in Education takes a back seat as ideology takes center stage in the classroom.  
 
HB:  the PTO is discussing the cancellation of the cherished Father Daughter dance. Fathers are an important part of a girl’s life and should be celebrated. All fathers should speak out against this – it is part of the overall push against the family unit.