Groups Urge That FERPA Rules Give Researchers Access to Data
The Department of Education received some 125 comments on proposed new regulations for the main federal school privacy law suggesting revisions to make sure student data remain accessible to researchers, to enable states to better track student outcomes, and to protect school officials who disclose student information to ensure the health and safety of students and others.
The proposed changes to the regulations for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, released March 24, represent the most comprehensive update to the law’s guidance in decades. At the K-12 level, FERPA says parents must consent to the release of their children’s educational records that contain personally identifiable information.
The proposed rules would make it clear that schools can enter into agreements to provide researchers with individual student data, as long as the subject of the research was testing, student aid, or “to improve instruction.” And, under the proposed rules, researchers could initiate the project, as long as the school district agreed with its purposes. The district would not have to endorse or agree...
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