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Student Data Needs Better Safeguards
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Who uses student data
  • 7/24/2014 10:00:21 AM
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Beth,

You make many excellent points in this article, and it's nice to hear a balanced look at education data from a parents perspective. The ability to apply analytics to education data is so important to increasing student achievement, but we have to ensure that the data will be used appropriately at all levels.

You mentioned concern about the data as it goes from the school to the state and to the US dept. of Education. Here is an excellent resource to fill you in on this transfer of data.

 http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/files/Who%20Uses%20Student%20Data%20Infographic.pdf

Page 1 Who Uses Student Data Infographic

Re: Starting the Conversation
  • 7/23/2014 5:16:12 PM
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@tomsg,

I completely agree with you, the problem is definitely not just limited schools. There appears to be a general lack of concern for people's data across almost all of the industries.  How many horror stories have we heard about hackers getting access to info simply by dumpster diving.  

Re: Starting the Conversation
  • 7/23/2014 5:11:12 PM
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"...and may have to rely on farming out the work, which may lead to some provacy concerns as well..."

@kq4ym,

You bring up a very good point that I hadn't even thought about. Honestly though, you can go crazy trying to think about all of the various "hands" your data passes through on any given day.

Re: Starting the Conversation
  • 7/23/2014 5:07:51 PM
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@Beth,

I'm glad to hear that these things are being tackled in the earlier grades, especially before middle school...where things can get...dicey. I'm actually pleasantly surprised to hear this, I just assumed schools would do their usual song and dance of pretending these things don't occur and then act shocked when they do.

Re: Starting the Conversation
  • 7/23/2014 3:56:55 PM
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@ChapAnjou -- data privacy is a good topic for schools to address these days, especially as more and more classrooms go digital. I'm fairly certain there's been no formal messaging on that at my son's grade school, for example, unless the computer teacher has mentioned it. Rather, the focus is more on making kids aware of cyberbullying and respectful use of technology and the Internet. I hope data privacy gets added in to the discussion, though.

Re: Starting the Conversation
  • 7/23/2014 11:47:10 AM
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I agree, but I don't feel the problem is limited to schools. What about doctors and lawyers and all kinds of small businesses that collect data but use third parties? Maybe we need more encompassing standards.

Re: Starting the Conversation
  • 7/23/2014 8:09:23 AM
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@Kq4ym. Good point about school systems having to farm out data management and maybe analytics. Building out teams of inhouse data talent, along with everything else that schools have to do, would be costly, particularly when those schools are competing with business for talent.

Re: Starting the Conversation
  • 7/22/2014 5:31:01 PM
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Somehow the idea of student data and intelligent use of it by school authorities doesn't make me feel good. I'm guessing the schools just don't have the budgets and high enough salaries to attract the best in data analysts and may have to rely on farming out the work, which may lead to some provacy concerns as well as the overall probable lower efficiency of the efforts.

Starting the Conversation
  • 7/22/2014 5:02:59 PM
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I think this was a very interesting article that raised some good points. I also think this is an good jumping off point to have a broader discussion regarding children being made more aware of safeguarding their information in general.  I've had a number of friends and siblings of friends have their identities stolen because they gave their social security number (!!) to someone claiming they were from their bank.

Re: Accountability and individuality
  • 7/22/2014 4:25:20 PM
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Jim, as the video says, personally identified data does become available for use by third parties, like bus companies and meal service providers. Are they safeguarding that data? The further removed it gets from the student's school, the more worrisome it becomes, I think.

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