In response to Fordham University Center on Law and Information Policy’s new report, the Data Quality Campaign’s Executive Director Aimee Rogstad Guidera states, “As we use education data to empower teachers, parents and others to improve student achievement, this new report underscores a call to action for every state and school district to change education data use culture and behaviors to reflect the changes in technology.
The gaps identified in the report are not the result of incompetence or deliberate malfeasance by school leaders, but rather they reflect the challenge of implementing new policies and safeguards in a rapidly changing world with limited resources and many challenges to improving student achievement.
When states and districts are only focused on compliance with federal laws, we don’t end up with the transparency and strong governance we need. Educators should not be left on their own to figure out how to navigate these important shifts in technology and data use. When state and district leaders provide appropriate guidance and support to their teachers, educators and parents are free to do their jobs and use the best information available to make the best decisions to improve student achievement. We can do a better job of protecting and using data through policy actions that involve transparent discussions about why we need data, how we are using and protecting them, and outlining how decisions are made within the state of how data are collected, stored, accessed, shared, and deleted.
Protecting the privacy, security, and confidentiality of student data is not in contradiction with effective data use; rather it is an essential component of effective data use. States and districts need to act now to fulfill the tremendous value of data, by protecting privacy and using data effectively and appropriately to give our kids the education they deserve.”