To: Janice Jackson, CEO, Chicago Public Schools and Patrick Connolly, CEO, Follett Corp.

Protect Our Students! Delay Aspen implementation!

The Chicago Board of Educations claims that its schools are sanctuary schools. Nonetheless, CPS has signed a contract with Follett, a nationwide corporation with numerous school district contracts, to use their Aspen Student Information System to track various aspects of student attendance, scheduling, performance and personal information such as health records and country of citizenship, country of immigration, and U.S. citizenship status. We are deeply troubled that these descriptors exist. We want to know why this information is being collected, who will have access to it and who may obtain this data whether purposefully or incidentally. This concern is especially pressing given the security breaches CPS has experienced in the recent past.
As educators, our most important responsibility is to maintain a safe and secure environment for our students so that they can learn. This is more important than ever at a time when immigrant families are being criminalized and torn apart and immigrant children are being caged like animals, when youth are attacked by police, and when a wall is being constructed to separate human beings. We cannot allow our students or their families to be threatened.
We demand that CPS ensure the safety of our students and their families by having those identifiers permanently removed before CPS transitions to the Aspen Student Information System. CPS is planning to implement this change effective January 7, 2019, so this is urgent. We demand that CPS postpone implementation of Aspen until these issues are resolved.

Why is this important?

Chicago Public Schools is rushing to set up a new student data platform using Aspen Student Information System by Follett. This includes data about student's citizenship and immigration status which could be misused and pose a threat to students and families, especially since CPS has suffered repeated data breaches. We want the implementation of Aspen halted until these fields are removed and the parties commit to protecting our children, their families, and their communities.