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OUT OF MIND » THE INSANITY OF REALITY » GOVERNMENTS & THE NEW WORLD ORDER » School Board Backtracks After Parents Speak Out Against Submitting Student-Athlete Data to Gates-Linked Platform

School Board Backtracks After Parents Speak Out Against Submitting Student-Athlete Data to Gates-Linked Platform

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PurpleSkyz

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School Board Backtracks After Parents Speak Out Against Submitting Student-Athlete Data to Gates-Linked Platform


After controversy erupted at an Aug. 17 school board meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, the School District of Palm Beach County School Board walked back a policy that would have required medical data for student athletes to be submitted online via Aktivate, a digital platform connected to Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

By
  Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D.  


 
School Board Backtracks After Parents Speak Out Against Submitting Student-Athlete Data to Gates-Linked Platform Palm-beach-school-gates-bezos-aktivate-student-data-feature-800x417


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After controversy erupted at an Aug. 17 school board meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, the School District of Palm Beach County School Board walked back a policy that would have required medical data for student athletes to be submitted online via Aktivate, a digital platform connected to Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
The policy would have required all mandatory forms and medical data for the registration of middle school and high school athletes to be submitted via the Aktivate platform, instead of in paper form.
Aktivate is a private company, founded in 2021, that designs and markets software for the registration of student athletes and the submission of their medical data.
Although the school board is said to have been aware it would be signing a contract with Aktivate as early as February 2022, finalizing that deal in May, parents and athletic personnel were not consulted and not informed until July, shortly before athletic registrations for the new school year were to begin.
The policy of mandatory registration of student athletes through the Aktivate platform was also reportedly not discussed at school board meetings until several parents brought the issue to the agenda for the Aug. 17 meeting. Concerns were also raised about the usability of the software and the privacy of students’ data.
Watch the meeting below with public comment starting at 1:57:



https://youtu.be/idQH0SIvrO8

School board walks back policy after concerns raised from parents, coaches
It was such concerns that prompted the school board to walk back the policy just two days after the contentious meeting, making the registration of student athletes through Aktivate “optional” instead of a requirement.
In a call that went out from the school district to parents on Aug. 19, the district informed them that registration through the Aktivate platform was no longer mandatory, and claimed that “confidentially concerning student information is a priority of the school district.”
This call was followed by a school district statement provided to local NBC affiliate WPTV on Aug. 22:
“The district is offering parents a second option for the submission of athletic packets as a means of accommodating those families who feel more comfortable using our prior manual submission process, which was a paper submission.”
In the preceding days and weeks, a myriad of concerns had been raised by parents and guardians, as well as coaches and other athletic personnel regarding the usability of the Aktivate software and the privacy of data that would be submitted through it.
One parent who spoke at the Aug. 17 meeting stated:
“We want a system of accepting forms without relinquishing the right of data and ownership, especially of our own children.
“As a parent, I want you to stand with me and prevent our children and their information from becoming a corporate product.”
According to WPTV, some of these concerns pertained to “some privacy terms and statements on the company’s website,” which the parents saw when they visited it to submit the requested data for their children.
The Palm Beach Post reported that going paperless appeared to be an attractive option for reducing paperwork and bureaucratic delays in the registration process for student athletes, in light of a “transfer trend sweeping the state.”
The Aktivate platform would purportedly streamline the registration process and eliminate the risk of athletes being declared ineligible.
However, in addition to concerns about data and privacy, numerous parents and guardians, in addition to coaches and athletic directors, argued that the Aktivate software was cumbersome and difficult to use.
As described by the Palm Beach Post, the process “went from stapling a handful of papers and turning them over to the right hands” to a process that was “more difficult than ever.”
This was evidenced by the slow rate of student athlete registrations. As of the day of the school board meeting on Aug. 17, only 10,000 out of 21,906 athletes who had launched the registration process via the Aktivate software, had successfully completed it.
In another example, just days before the Aug. 17 school board meeting, the football roster for one area high school only had 10 players cleared through the Aktivate system, out of a total of 51 players.
Other issues cited by the Palm Beach Post included:
  • Difficulty for some student athletes, who lack access to computers and/or the internet, to register.
  • All questions about the new system going through the county’s athletic department with the coaches being told not to answer questions.
  • Confusion on physicals and paperwork.
  • New rules not noted in the policy.

Two football coaches quoted by the Palm Beach Post stated that uploading each student’s data into the Aktivate system takes upwards of 90 minutes — if the process is done correctly and the application isn’t flagged for a myriad of potential issues, ranging from spelling errors to poorly scanned paper documentation.
Moreover, the process was not entirely paperless, the Palm Beach Post reported. The mandated medical forms still had to be printed, taken by hand to doctors’ offices and were then required to be notarized. A paper with a signature certifying that the athletic insurance fee would be paid was also required to be uploaded.
These paper documents would then be uploaded into the Aktivate system, as under the school district’s policy prior to its reversal, “paper athletic packets [would] no longer be accepted at school sites.”
One coach who spoke to the Palm Beach Post described this process as “madness.”
Several examples of poor and delayed communication from the school district regarding the new policy were also cited.
For instance, even though the school district’s contract with Aktivate was signed on May 9 and was in discussion for some months prior to that, an announcement regarding the requirement to register student athletes through the platform was not posted by the district until mid-July.
And although the Aktivate platform was open for registrations on July 14, coaches, parents and guardians were not informed until four days later, although, for instance, football camps were scheduled to begin on Aug. 1 — a situation described by one coach as “infuriating.”
The Aktivate system was also rolled out without any pilot testing or instructions provided to coaches, athletic directors, parents and guardians as to how to navigate the system.
This point was acknowledged by school board member Erica Whitfield, who said, “Maybe a training or some sort of PowerPoint that walked through the process of what it was for might have been a useful addition to this rollout.”
Although Aktivate’s CEO Hesky Kutscher was in attendance at the meeting, the explanations he provided were apparently not enough to assuage all concerns.
He told those present at the meeting that Aktivate complies with “all privacy laws: FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] and HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act], including the school form 22-20.”
Kutscher added that Aktivate “obviously intend[s] to comply with the law,” and that the company’s software provides “far bigger security, by the way, than paper.”
As per its agreement with the School District of Palm Beach County, Aktivate has received the status of a “school official,” granting it “legitimate educational interests” to enable it to receive certain “student information” without parental consent, the Palm Beach Post reported.
On its website, Aktivate presents a definition of “student data” in its privacy policy, classifying it as “personally identifiable information Aktivate receives regarding a student” within the “LEA” or “SEA”— referring to local or state education agency with which it is contracted.
The data collected includes any data entered by students, parents, guardians, coaches or athletic personnel, as well as information on athlete results and activities, remarks from coaches, material from online forums, audiovisual material and technical metadata such as geolocation, device, browser and system information.
The company claims in its privacy policy that it does not sell or share student data with third parties, nor does it “claim ownership” of this data.
However, the company does state that it “may” involve third parties in the processing of “other information” that is not student data.
Aktivate’s agreement with the school district appears to state that Aktivate will only receive the following information concerning students: name, grade level, the school they attend, the sports and activities they participate in, medical and scholastic information pertaining to their eligibility to participate in athletics and additional information regarding their participation in sports and activities, as provided by students, parents, guardians or school staff.
The company claims that it will “store and process” this information in accordance with “industry best practices” to prevent “unauthorized access,” and that the data will be “disposed of” when its purpose has been served, or five years after the receipt of the information, whichever is sooner.
Nevertheless, concerns also appear to linger over the nature of the school board’s contract with Aktivate.
As reported by the Palm Beach Post, the three-year contract with Aktivate signed May 9 was valued at $9,500 annually — just below the $10,000 threshold above which board approval is required for contracts.
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Less than a year old, Aktivate counts Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos as investors — though details are murky
Founded less than a year ago, on Sept. 14, 2021, Aktivate markets a “software-as-a-service” platform that provides a “scholastic sports management solution that streamlines the process of athlete registration for students, parents, coaches and school administrators” and which claims to “modernize the highly fragmented $35B+ youth sports and activities market.”
Ironically, considering the difficulties some students from low-income households in the school district faced when they were obliged to use the Aktivate platform, the company claims, as part of its mission, its aim “to reduce the financial barriers that prevent more students from experiencing the positive benefits of participation in sports and other school activities.”
The company’s founders — Hesky Kutscher and Dhruv Singh — have “collectively launched seven technology companies in the digital media, healthcare/wellness and educational technology industries,” the launch announcement further states.
Aktivate further claimed in its announcement that it “now powers student-athlete administration for over 1,300 K-12 schools and 1.5 million athletes across 30 states” in addition to “strategic relationships with numerous state athletic associations.”
On its launch date last year, the company announced it had attracted $7 million in “seed financing” in order to “fund the development of a market-leading sports administration platform and scholastic sports community.”
Funders included several venture capital firms, including Will Ventures, Tal Ventures, TechAviv, Benson Oak Ventures and Village Global. According to Aktivate’s launch announcement, the latter firm is “backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Diane Greene, Michael Dell and Reid Hoffman.”
The Village Global website lists these and several other prominent personalities as “luminaries,” including Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Disney Chairman & CEO Bob Iger, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffmann, Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang, Zoom founder Eric Yuan, American Express CEO Ken Chenault and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert.
The extent of the “time, energy and money” Village Global states these “luminaries” provide it with, is not specified.
In turn, Nick Caldwell, Twitter’s vice president of engineering, and Adrienne Harris, former special assistant to President Barack Obama, are listed by Village Global as “featured network leaders.”
The extent of involvement of these entrepreneurs, including Bezos and Gates, is unclear, as is their total investment in Village Global. However, a photo of Gates and a video where “Village Global founders discuss meeting Bill Gates” figure prominently on the main page of the firm’s website.
In helping to introduce Aktivate in September 2021, Anne Dwane, a partner and co-founder at Village Global, said that “the level of [technological] innovation in scholastic sports administration and community development has been relatively low.”
“Aktivate has a huge opportunity to bring online a very unique and sizable community, while better supporting student-athletes and their families,” Dwane added.
Other funders named as part of Aktivate’s launch included “angel investors” Zeke Emanuel and Howard Morgan.
Kutscher previously served as CEO of CareDox, which was also active in the educational realm.
CareDox is described as “the leading digital health platform for the largest and most consistent health delivery system in the country, K-12 public schools,” leveraging “pediatric health data and this country’s most successful public health organization, the K-12 school system, to improve outcomes and learn about clinical health data outside of the provider’s office.”
Some of the ways CareDox claims it is accomplishing this include “connecting school nurses to state immunization registries to ensure student compliance with state immunization requirements” and “offering a digital platform for parents to fill out and store health information, including vaccinations, medications, allergies and more.”
CareDox proclaims a mission “to work with partners to provide a unified health record for every family,” while Kutscher’s own LinkedIn profile claims that “schools are being transformed to the epicenter for pediatric health delivery.”
Singh, in turn, has served as a term member of the Council of Foreign Relations since July 2021.
Zeke Emanuel, currently vice provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of its Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and an oncologist and bioethicist, who has recently praised vaccine mandates.
He is also the brother of Rahm Emanuel, currently the U.S. ambassador to Japan and formerly mayor of Chicago and chief of staff in the Obama administration, and Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, a media and entertainment company that owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In an Aug. 25 tweet, Zeke Emmanuel praised the Washington, D.C., vaccine mandate — which has since been postponed — for children age 12 and up, characterizing it as “great” and stating that “vaccine mandates for schools are critical.”
However, he said this was not enough, calling for improved air filtration in schools, “with the added benefit of helping decrease flu and other illness transmission.”
Each of the venture capital firms involved in the launch of Aktivate appears to focus on a specific industry or area of activity.
Tal Ventures, for instance, boasts a number of medical startups in its portfolio, as well as status active in the area of artificial intelligence.
These companies include EdiTy, which develops “precision therapeutics” via the “targeted deployment of gene editing against diseases that are currently beyond the capabilities of modern medicine,” and Remilk, which “reimagines the future of food” via the creation of “real dairy without a single cow.”
Benson Oak Ventures, in turn, a “buy-out and growth equity investment firm that provides financial support to small and mid-size enterprises,” specifically boasts its COVID-19-related activity via its support for Tailor-ED, a “differentiated learning platform” that provided remote lesson planning to schools “impacted by COVID-19.”

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/palm-beach-school-board-student-athlete-data-gates-bezos-aktivate/?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=1da7f617-3581-4dc8-a423-05aaea5b509d

Thanks to: https://childrenshealthdefense.org



  

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