The SEL or climate, wellness, or school experience surveys are the new thing in Utah and pretty much every school district is giving them. There will most likely be more and more of them as they gain popularity with teachers and administrators in school districts across Utah. On the surface they appear benign, but if you do a little digging it becomes apparent that these SEL surveys have a dark side. As a parent, it is important to be educated and informed so you can make the best decision when it comes to the safety and privacy of your child.
Students across the state of Utah are being given SEL Skills and Competencies surveys. Each district might call them something different. Nebo calls them wellness surveys. Davis calls them school experience surveys. Regardless of the name, they are the same survey from a company called Panorama Education. School districts in partnership with the USBE have contracted with Panorama Education to supply and analyze the survey data.
Who is Panorama and what do they do?
Panorama is a million dollar data collection and analytics company. They survey our children, analyze the data, and build SEL profiles for each student. The questions are selected by the School or the USBE and can be anything they choose from "Do you come to class prepared?" to "What is your race?" or "What gender do you identify with?
Analyzing and searching large amounts of computerized data is considered data mining, which is exactly what is being done to our children's survey data. The survey answers will be used to create social/emotional profiles on our kids and their schools. Below are samples profiles that are found on Panorama's website.
Sample survey profiles taken from https://www.panoramaed.com
Questions parents should ask themselves:
Does the Panorama Survey violate state code?
State law requires school districts to get parents' permission to take surveys of a particular nature. This code ensures that students are protected when it comes to data collection in Utah's schools. Utah code 53E-9-203 states that among other things, surveys dealing with mental or psychological problems; religious affiliations or beliefs; and illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior have to follow the following procedures:
We are of the opinion that any survey dealing with SEL automatically falls into at least one of the above categories and should have to follow state code.
Click below to see how Panorama uses tax payer money to survey and build profiles of our children.