Practical Approaches that Advance Data Use AND Amp Up Privacy Protections

Ensuring the privacy of student data continues to be a major concern for the education sector and particularly for the education technology community we are a part of.  To keep up with the rapid growth of technology in schools, new legislation has emerged in states across the country aimed at evolving statutes.  We’re also seeing the introduction of new federal legislation that would modernize privacy and online protections for students.  Now, thirty-eight organizations have come together under the leadership of the Consortium for School Networking (also known as CoSN) and the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) to advance a set of core principles for using, managing, and protecting student data.

We are proud to be a founding supporter of these Student Data Principles.  The principles are straightforward, based in common sense, and illustrate a profound commitment to safeguarding students.

It’s easy to rally around core beliefs like:

  • Student data should be used to further and support student learning and success;
  • Student data are most powerful when used for continuous improvement and personalizing student learning; and,
  • Student data should be used as a tool for informing, engaging, and empowering students, families, teachers, and school system leaders.

After all, data in schools is not a new phenomenon and we are unabashed fans of putting the right data into the right hands to support student progress.

What’s difficult, however, is staying ahead of the explosion of technology applications that collect and use student data.  Making the most of technology while maintaining a secure, coherent environment of education systems is something all of our Ed-Fi community members are working toward.  At the Alliance, we’re in a unique position to share insights into the progressive actions of our community of education leaders. In this role, we aim to continue improving the faithful stewardship of student data and successful uses of today’s technology to support student learning.

Over the next few months, we will take a closer look at the ways education agencies and ed-tech vendors are advancing the principles of student data privacy with real-world, practical actions.  We’ll highlight Ed-Fi technology uses that are paving a simpler path to technical implementations of strong data privacy practices.

Stay tuned to learn more about how it all adds up – local victories that are safeguarding privacy while creating major positive change for students, educators, and families.

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