Education Framework Blog

Focused on the Future of Education in America

Student Data Privacy Legislation: What Happened in 2015, and What Is Next?

Excellent report on student data privacy legislation by Rachel Anderson & The Data Quality Campaign...

Last year, growing state and district use of education data and increased public attention to the ways in which these data are collected, used, managed, and disclosed sparked much conversation in statehouses around the country about the value of data and how they are protected. Student data (e.g., demographics, transcripts, attendance, test scores, outcomes, etc.) are an important tool for policymakers, educators, and families as they seek ways to support students and improve education experiences and pathways. Safeguarding data is a critical component of effective data use, and this complex and critical issue has continued to evolve over the last year. The student data privacy bills introduced in 2015 reflect both continued and newly developing student data privacy conversations in states and at the federal level.

WHAT SHOULD STATES DO NOW? - The 2015 legislative session is leaving states, districts, and service providers with new roles, responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges. As states continue to legislate around student data privacy and begin to implement and operationalize their laws, what should they be considering to help ensure that they are safeguarding privacy and supporting the state’s use of education data in service of learning? DQC recommends that states take the following actions:

Provide transparency - By being transparent about what data they collect, how and why the data are used, who has access to the data, and how the data are safeguarded, states can help curb concerns about data use and privacy and communicate more effectively with the public.

Communicate the value of data - When educators and families get real benefits from education data—such as clear public reports, including school report cards and high school feedback reports, and parent and teacher data dashboards—they can truly see the value of education data and advocate for their use.

Support boards and districts Many states are now calling on districts, state boards, and school boards to take on new responsibilities related to data privacy and management. However, they cannot adequately meet these new responsibilities without additional supports from the state. Some states are already beginning to provide training, model policies, and direct support to districts. However, with a rapidly changing field and limited supports from the federal government (especially around data training), districts and boards will continue to need state support.

Read full report here >>

Student Data, a Top Concern of School Districts

Nice piece in SEEN (SouthEast Education Network) Magazine highlighting Education Framework's student privacy & parental consent solution, EdProtect:

The digital transformation of our schools has dramatically altered the landscape of education and resulted in an unprecedented rise in the collection and use of student data. Today’s classrooms use cloud-based content and teaching systems as well as tens of thousands of learning apps delivered by individual vendors; districts employ learning management systems, student information systems and multiple SaaS systems.

Each of these systems collects and uses student data, and many share and disseminate data in order to function. All of this student data being collected has created some very serious privacy concerns, and states are scrambling to keep a handle on the problem. District superintendents and their staffs are now the guardians of their students’ data. The search is on for tools and resources that can help them with this new responsibility.

Through a suite of software tools for school districts, Education Framework is making data privacy manageable, transparent and simple for some of America’s smartest school districts. Their student privacy and parental consent solution, EdProtect, will analyze every potential app and website before they ever make it to the classroom. Staff will receive an easy-to-understand score that shows at a glance how safe their student data is. And administrators will be secure in the knowledge that they are proactively protecting students and shielding their district from harm.

Read more here >>