Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sent a Civil Investigation Request (CID) — which functions like a subpoena — to a digital learning platform called Panorama Education asking for any potential communications between the company and the Biden’s Justice Department, including AG Merrick Garland.
Panorama Education was co-founded by AG Garland’s son-in-law, Alexander “Xan” Tanner. The digital learning platform, which received early stage funding from the Zuckerberg Chan Initiative, uses “survey instruments” to improve education for its 13 million students.
Schmitt launched an investigation into how student surveys created by third-party companies such as Panorama Education were used in several Missouri districts. Some surveys have probed students about their sexuality, political views, parental income and “racially-based” issues, the attorney general’s office previously said. In addition to requesting any communication between AG Garland or the DOJ, the CID also asked how Panorama’s survey data is collected and stored and who has access to that data, including any parties that are not Panorama customers. , the attorney general’s office said.
“Last week, my office sent Panorama Education a civil investigation request to collect documents to determine exactly what information and data Panorama collected and how the data from these investigations is stored or distributed,” said AG Schmitt. .
In June, Schmitt subpoenaed seven Missouri districts for information related to the investigations.
“Subjecting students to personal and invasive surveys created by third-party consultants, potentially without parental consent, is ridiculous and does nothing to advance our children’s education,” Schmitt said at the time. “After learning of these investigations, my office initiated an investigation and issued subpoenas to seven school districts across the state to get to the bottom of these investigations and bring them to an end.” Panorama Education said school districts make decisions about survey content, including how they are administered, not Panorama.
“Panorama Education is an educational technology company that provides teachers, school districts and families with tools to help students improve their academic progress, social-emotional development and well-being. We help connect what students and parents want to see in the classroom with the school districts that make it happen. Schools or districts decide what works best for their students, including when and how they administer student surveys,” the statement said.
Kimberly Hermann of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group that has urged the Missouri attorney general’s office to investigate the collection of personal data from students, said student surveys are “ripe for abuse” and had to stop.
Panorama Education has come under scrutiny for promoting certain leftist ideas. In October 2021, Panorama was discovered to be promoting a book containing an essay by a former Weather Underground executive. The Metro was a militant group responsible for bombing government buildings and extreme activism.
It was also reported that Panorama published a “resource” claiming former President Trump’s rally attendees and “murderous police officers” were examples of “white supremacy.” Following Panorama Education’s accusations of promoting critical race theory, AG Garland came under scrutiny from American First Legal, a conservative legal group.
“AG Garland has ordered the DOJ to use its sweeping national security powers to target parents who object to the imposition of critical race theory on innocent children. It is therefore exceptionally urgent that the department release all documents relating to the Garland family’s financial interest in critical race theory and any ethical conflicts that arise from that financial interest,” the group’s founder said. oversight, Stephen Miller.