Feds Push Student Data Standards

Career College Central summary:

  • Federal officials are pushing the education tech industry to heighten privacy and security standards for student data. Speaking at a Common Sense event this week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that his department would be releasing guidance for companies that contract with schools to handle student data. The guidance released Tuesday will be followed by “more coming in the weeks ahead,” Duncan said. “Our administration takes these issues very, very seriously.”
  • The guidance will build on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a 1974 statute that establishes privacy protections for students’ academic records. Duncan called on school districts and the tech companies handling student data to make privacy and security a priority and said the questions being asked parents and privacy advocates about the security and use of student data “vitally, vitally important.”
  • Data about student performance should be secure and used to improve the educational experience, “not to sell students snack foods and video games,” he said. The educational tech industry should self-regulate and “have appropriate policies for how they handle all that data,” Duncan said.

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