Parent Coalition for
The U.S. Department of Education intends to create a new student database to house the personally identifiable information of 12,000 students, 500 teachers and 104 principals from 104 unidentified schools in 12 school districts across the country.
The information collected on students will include vast amounts of sensitive data including, but not limited to, standardized test scores, race/ethnicity, individual education plan status, and discipline records in order to facilitate "a rigorous study of the effectiveness of providing data-driven instruction professional development to teachers and principals." The Department of Education is accepting public comments about its data-collection plans until February 18, 2016.There was an article about this plan in the Washington Post last month, before the comment period was extended
- explain why aggregate information can't be used instead of personally identifiable information;
- specifically define the personally identifiable elements that will be collected and why each data element is needed;
- notify parents of student who are involved in the study, or at least reveal which districts are participating, and report the names of any other third parties to whom the personally identifiable information will be disclosed;
- demand that districts obtain informed consent from parents whose children are participating in the study;
- demonstrate "significant improvement" in the four key areas identified as a result of a recent Congressional hearing on cybersecurity, or at least report what security protections will be used to safeguard the data;
- disclose specifically when the data will be deleted or destroyed;
- explain why the federal government has a need to collect or maintain any personally identifiable data when districts could provide it directly to the researchers for their analysis.
To view our full comments to the U.S. Department of Education, please visit here; and see the official notice here.
Thank you for your continued support to protect student privacy!
Leonie Haimson and Rachael Stickland, Co-chairs
Parent Coalition for Student Privacy