Data News in Brief

Assessment Group Approves Privacy Rules for Student Data

By Catherine Gewertz — January 06, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The PARCC testing group approved a new policy last week that is intended to safeguard personally identifiable information about students collected as part of states’ common-core-assessment regimens.

The action comes as debate continues to swirl about how student data will be used by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the other federally funded assessment consortium, Smarter Balanced. Some critics fear the two state coalitions will hand over student data to the federal government.

Under PARCC’s new policy, states will provide personally identifiable information, such as students’ names, addresses, identification numbers, or dates of birth, along with their performance on PARCC exams, to the consortium and its contractors, but that information “will never be provided by PARCC to the federal government without written authority from a state, or unless legally required to do so by subpoena or court order.”

Further, no state agency or school district will ever disclose students’ Social Security numbers to PARCC or its contractors, the policy says.

The information that states and districts convey to PARCC will be used “to develop and implement” the assessment system, including to pilot-test, field-test, and validate the assessments and to analyze test results and report them back to states, the policy says. It will also be used to conduct studies aimed at improving instruction and to evaluate state- and federally funded programs.

The policy details a range of protections that will be built into handling of student data. They include limiting internal access to student information, requiring that electronically stored data be encrypted, and prohibiting the unencrypted transmission of information from PARCC or its contractors to any third party wirelessly or across a public network.

A version of this article appeared in the December 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as Assessment Group Approves Privacy Rules for Student Data

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
Future of the First Amendment: Exploring Trends in High School Students’ Views of Free Speech
Learn how educators are navigating student free speech issues and addressing controversial topics like gender and race in the classroom.
Content provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Data Opinion How to Start Using Data to Achieve Equity for Students
Schools are awash with data but rarely do anything with it. One district started out by limiting the tools it uses.
Mackey Pendergrast & Erica Hartman
5 min read
Entry Point
Shutterstock
Data Education Department to Expand Data Collection on COVID and Schools
The Education Department will expand the limited survey started last year to query about issues like learning loss and health precautions.
2 min read
Image of a data dashboard.
Suppachok Nuthep/iStock/Getty
Data 'Extreme' Chronic Absenteeism? Pandemic School Attendance Data Is Bleak, But Incomplete
Only a handful of states have reported information on chronic absenteeism, right as advocates warn that addressing it will be a top priority this fall.
4 min read
Image of an empty desk.
Laura Baker/Education Week and kazuma seki/iStock/Getty
Data Knowing What Schools Did in the Pandemic is Crucial. So Is Preserving That Data
A prominent researcher is working to collect information on schools and COVID-19 to inform future study on the pandemic's effects.
6 min read
Kindergarten students wear masks and are separated by plexiglass during class at Milton Elementary School, in Rye, N.Y. on May 18, 2021.
Kindergarten students wear masks and are separated by plexiglass during class in May at Milton Elementary School, in Rye, N.Y.
Mary Altaffer/AP