Thursday, April 10, 2014

Electronic privacy protection in Utah

While I generally point out the shortcomings of local government and poke fun at their failings, today I thought I'd chime in with something positive.  On March 31, Governor Herbert signed into law HB0128.  This bill makes it explicit that a government agency needs to get a warrant before obtaining location information on an electronic device.  So, the Utah state legislature feels that a person's cell phone shouldn't be used as a tracking device against them without just cause.  Sometimes it's nice to say that someone's thinking is so twentieth century.  Good work guys, think the federal government will respect your law?  More on this story here

Friday, April 4, 2014

Message to teachers, tell the truth, lose your job

As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, a teacher in the Granite School District has been placed on administrative leave and may lose their job.  The heinous crime this educator is accused of is . . . telling the truth.  Specifically, the truth this educator let slip was that computer adapted standardized tests were a waste of time and irrelevant to students.  Anyone who has bothered to take a look at high stakes standardized tests has reached the same conclusion,with the possible exception of people who have a financial stake in such tests.  So basically, the teacher got in trouble for not sticking to the party line and may now be out of work.  Punishing people for not going along with the argument from authority is something that is more at home in North Korea or cold war era East Germany, not the United States.  Sometimes it is easier to understand a seemingly irrational action if one applies the concept of projection onto it.  If the Granite School District lashes out so crudely when someone questions a test that is a waste of time and irrelevant, perhaps they do so because they find that their institution is increasingly a waste of time and irrelevant.