In recent years, student data privacy has emerged as a major education issue at federal, state and local levels. Recent news coverage and social media conversations about student data access, especially as it relates to outside service providers, have heightened the public’s overall interest in the use and security of student data.
In a recent Future Ready Webinar, I had the privilege of being joined by Jaryn Emhof, Vice President of Communications at the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), as she shared research-based messages and tactics to effectively communicate with parents and other stakeholders about this important issue facing school districts today.
Ms. Emhof outlined a variety of key messages and resources found inside ExcelinEd’s recently released Student Data Privacy Communications Toolkit. Some examples of what was shared in the webinar were:
- qualitative and quantitative research findings;
- key messages identified as most compelling and of interest to parents;
- sample letters and language that can be used by school leaders; and
- methods, tools, sample letters, and other resources available to assist schools and school districts with communication.
As student data privacy debates continue at all levels, districts must clearly communicate the data they’re collecting, how it’s being used, and how student information remains secure. It’s imperative that district leaders stay on top of changes in the law and work closely with their local school board to ensure a robust policy that empowers teachers with the digital tools needed to personalize student learning, yet simultaneously keeps student information safe and secure. The toolkit released by ExcelinED and the work of DQC is a great starting point for district leaders.