Education Framework Blog

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Preparation: The Key to Protecting Student Data Privacy


"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable of." - John Wooden


John Wooden, one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, made a career out of focusing on preparation. 

He said his coaching philosophy revolved around three main ideals:

1. To get his players in the best possible condition. 

2. To get his players to work on their quickness. 

3. To get his players to work together as a team.


"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."  - John Wooden


Wooden used this approach as head coach of UCLA to lead his team to 10 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship titles in a 12 year period, including an unprecendented 7 years in a row. 

He was an accomplished 3 time All American athlete and the first person to be inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (1960) and coach (1973). But he is best known for how he approached the game, and for the values he instilled in his players. 

Throughout his extensive career, he built his legacy on a what he called the Pyramid of SuccessHe was an exceptional leader, mentor and friend to many, and was possibly best known for bringing out the greatness in others by pushing them find the greatness within themselves.

Yet despite all his successes, his focus was never about winning or losing; instead, he emphasized the importance of preparation. 

He knew that if his team was in the best possible shape they could be, both mentally and physically, that they would have the advantage when it really mattered. He knew that if they worked on their quickness, that they would be one step ahead allowing them to out-smart, out-wit and out-maneuver the competition. He knew that if they worked together as a team, that they would trust one another, support one another and collectively elevate one another to be better. 

So what does this have to do with protecting student privacy, you might ask? 

Well, it got me to thinking about what the privacy landscape would look like if school and district leaders adopted the mindset of John Wooden. 

Coach Wooden knew the value of thinking through each and every possible scenario before the tip-off whistle ever blew. He understood the importance of preparation and doing the tough work up-front, but also acknowledged the need for leadership and teamwork in order to succeed. He knew that the right commitment with the right team could bring the right results. 

When it comes to protecting student privacy, we need this kind of proactive thinking. No longer should schools be able to treat privacy as an afterthought. Our students deserve better and our schools should do better

Just think where we'd be if every school in the nation applied the John Wooden mindset to protecting student privacy. At the very least, we'd be better prepared.


"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" - John Wooden