Trump’s Education Dept. Defends Student Privacy

New guidance taps brakes on student data gathering

Image Credits: flickr, umezy12.

Many parents have been disappointed by the lack of meaningful corrective action by the U.S. Department of Education (USED), at least in pre-K-12 education, under Betsy DeVos’s leadership.

But give credit where due. USED deserves kudos for a guidance document issued recently by the department’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Someone there is taking student-privacy threats seriously.

The new guidance advises state education agencies and school districts about their responsibility to protect student privacy when facilitating college-admissions tests such as SAT and ACT.

Traditionally, students registered for these tests on their own, so federal privacy law that applies to schools — such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA — didn’t apply.

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