Education Reform and Privacy Concerns Collide

Posted on 21/05/2011 by

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Who Needs Congress or the Constitution, these are the people making the laws

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 Sandra In Brevard
In February, Grumpy Educators covered U.S. Office of Education initiatives to build and develop longitudinal data systems for education here and here.The requirement for data systems that track student data from preschool through high school and beyond is part of current education reform policy on data-driven decision-making. The data, to be accessed by researchers, auditors and other agencies, may reveal what reforms, methods or textbooks work or do not work so well.A spokesperson from the Data Quality Campaign, a non-profit founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, praises the proposed changes:

“We can’t afford not to use this information if we want to meet our big policy goal of graduating students ready for college and career.”
However, accessing the data requires changes in current privacy protection laws or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Protection Act of 1974 (FERPA).The expansion of state student-record systems is central to President Obama’s accountability agenda, which seeks to improve education through the better use of data. In a statement issued on Thursday, the U.S. secretary of education, Arne Duncan, said the proposed new rules would “strengthen privacy protections and allow for meaningful uses of data.”

According to the Chronicle, the proposed changes would allow sharing of student-level data with researchers, auditors, and other agencies without violating FERPA. The article further notes that Congress prevented the Education Department from creating a “national ‘unit record’ data system in 2008, but has also funded states to develop these systems.

There are many serious concerns and unanswered question about these proposed changes that affect that rights of parent consent and the collection and use of vast amounts of data on the nation’s children. How long will this data remain available? How will it be stored? When will it be erased? Will it be erased? Will parents and the children themselves when adults know how the information is used?

According to a Missouri Education Watchdog alert, public input and objections to the proposed rules changes is available until Monday, May 23. Background information, examples of specific objections to the rules, and the website location for registering objections is offered.

If privacy concerns matter and the lack of interest by Congressional oversight on this matter matter to you, review the Missouri Education Watchdog blog here and consider writing an objection.

http://chronicle.com/article/New-Rules-Would-Allow-for/127047/

http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Privacy-Matters-Even-if/127461/

******Grumpy Note******
Secretary of Education Arme Duncan doesn’t give a crap about the Constitution, Congress or the Law. He believes he has the authority to do so by regulation. and he has every intention of doing it.. If he has his way, public schools will be used to collect information about every aspect of your life and share it, not just with Government agencies but potentially anyone who can dream up a reason to ask..
The Privicy Act was passed in 1974 because of what the American people then considered Criminal Information Gathering by Nixon… Now Arme Duncan wants to make what was consdered criminal then and make the Dept. of Education the gathering agency..
The material they have in mind will include everything from your voting record to blood type. It includes things like where you work, your height and weight.,,
As Sandra Mentioned The Missouri Watch Dog has more information, take a look

You’ll find the comment form here.

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=ED-2011-OM-0002-0001

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Posted in: Education Reform