Data and Privacy

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Emerging technologies provide districts with robust and responsive infrastructures from which they can extract data to inform instruction and efficiency of learning. This data serves as the building block for assessment (diagnostic, formative, and summative); an indicator of interest; and metric of progress. Future ready educators rely upon data to inform instruction while future ready students develop data familiarity and fluency to better self-assess and improve content mastery.  

Thus, data, personalization, and future ready learning are intrinsically linked. Ensuring data privacy, protection, and security is paramount in a system where learning is targeted and individualized to ensure learner growth and success.  

A personalized, learner-centered environment uses technology to securely protect, collect, analyze, and organize data. This practice increases differentiation opportunities and outcomes to better meet students where they are, spurring authentic content acquisition and growth. The district ensures data privacy and security policies, procedures, and practices are in place at the district, school, classroom, and student levels. Educators serve as role models for students and stakeholders by demonstrating ethical, legal, responsible, and informed data practices. They model effective data and privacy by sharing data as appropriate and invoking privacy considerations as a component of decision-making. 

Data and Data Systems

To facilitate data-driven decision-making, data should be comprehensive and readily available for appropriate users. Responsive, consumable, and malleable data is available on demand, regardless of time, location, or device via secure data dashboards, analytics, and warehouses. Systems (i.e., data dashboards and reporting analytics) are in place to aggregate and organize data. In addition, the district takes appropriate steps to ensure contracted vendors and service providers have current policies, procedures, and practices in place to ensure the privacy, security, and protection of student data, guaranteeing its use as purely educational. 

Data Policies, Procedures, and Practices

Using the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), and relevant state laws as frameworks, the district maintains current policies, procedures, and practices that address legal, ethical, and safety issues related to device and data use as well as web access. Such policies, procedures, and practices guide the collection, retention, transmission, access, analysis, and archiving of data. To prevent unintended misuse or breach of large data sets, future ready districts conduct comprehensive audits and/or inventories of data, create a retention policy and deletion schedule for data, and use best practices when deleting student data. Similarly, district-created protocols, responsible use agreements, and on-going digital citizenship programming, outline appropriate data, web, and device usage for students, staff, and stakeholders. 

Data-Informed Decision-making  

Frequent and consistent use of formative and summative assessment data is an established and celebrated tenet of school culture with each stakeholder actively leveraging data to improve learning. Leaders mindfully emphasize planning and model applicable and appropriate processes. In this way, the practice of data-informed teaching is reframed to support assessment data collections as informative rather than punitive. This is modeled at all levels of the school system, from administrators to the students themselves. The purpose, planning, and steps to perform the assessment should be well-defined beyond the words used in the model. Assessment must translate into objective elements that inform learning advances useful for students, parents, and other stakeholders.  

Data-Literate Education Professionals 

Educators in the system are data literate. This means they are aware of the legal and ethical responsibility to ensure security, accuracy, and privacy in the collection, analysis, exchange, and reporting of data. They understand the potential uses and misuses of data in the teaching and learning process and act accordingly. All education professionals in the district utilize best practices in collecting, analyzing, and using data to inform instructional and administrative decision-making. Concerted efforts are in place to ensure that educators at all levels are knowledgeable and fluent in appropriate data collection and analysis techniques. Data literacy extends to students as well such that they also apply appropriate safety precautions when accessing and reviewing personal data. Curricula are reviewed and updated to make effective use of evidence and data a priority for all. 

Featured Resource

Data & Privacy Resource

[Webinar] Keeping Cybersecurity at the Forefront of Remote Learning

District’s plan for remote learning must be conducted in a manner that respects students’ personal information and complies with the many privacy and data security laws and regulations that impact how education technology should be utilized in the teaching and learning process, both while at school and while at home.

Implementation Guide

Data Collection and Usage Plan

Create a data plan that includes the data to be collected and what will be done with it after it is collected.

Cited References
  • S. Almy et al., “Teacher Data Literacy: It’s About Time” (Washington, DC: Data Quality Campaign, 2014), https://dataqualitycampaign.org/resource/teacher-data-literacy-time/. 
  • Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, “Strategic Data Project,” http://sdp.cepr.harvard.edu/ (accessed June 17, 2020). 
  • Consortium for School Networking, Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit (Washington, DC: Author, 2014),  http://www.cosn.org/sites/default/files/Privacy%20Toolkit_0319.pdf/. 
  • The Principles - Student Data Principles." https://studentdataprinciples.org/the-principles/. 
  • Data Quality Campaign, “Student Data Privacy Legislation: What Happened in 2015, and What Is Next?” (Washington, DC: Author, 2015), https://dataqualitycampaign.org/resource/student-data-privacy-legislation-happened-2015-next/. 
  • Data Quality Campaign and National School Boards Association Center for Public Education, “Talking About the Facts of Education Data with School Board Members” (Washington, DC: Author, 2014), https://www.njsba.org/news-publications/school-leader/marchapril-2015-volume-45-5/talking-about-the-facts-of-education-data-with-school-board-members-2/. 
  • Federal Communications Commission, “Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA),” http://fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cipa.html (accessed June 17, 2020). 
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  • C. P. Jewell, L. Makowsky, and K. Hallgren, Districts and Data: Developing Capacity for Effective Data Use (No. 4acaf58abfa746f38420ff60c5696f8a) (Washington, DC: Mathematica, 2014). 
  • E. B. Mandinach, A Perfect Time for Data Use: Using Data-Driven Decision Making to Inform Practice,” Educational Psychologist 47, no. 2 (2012): 7185. 
  • B. Means et al., Implementing Data-Informed Decision Making in Schools—Teacher Access, Supports and Use (Menlo Park, CA: SRI International, 2009),  www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html. 
  • The Wallace Foundation: Data-Informed Leadership in Education https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/1-Data-Informed-Leadership.pdf 
  • L. Plunkett, A. Solow-Niederman, and U. Gasser, Framing the Law & Policy Picture: A Snapshot of K12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014 (Cambridge, MA: Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, 2014), http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2442432. 
  • J. Reidenberg et al., Privacy and Cloud Computing in Public Schools (New York, NY: Center on Law and Information Policy, 2013), http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/clip/2.                  
  • TERC,Using Data Home,” http://usingdata.terc.edu/ (accessed June 17, 2020). 
  • U.S. Department of Education, “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),” http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html (accessed June 17, 2020). 
  • U.S. Department of Education, “Privacy Technical Assistance Center and Related Activities,” https://www.ed.gov/open/plan/privacy-technical-assistance-center (accessed June 17, 2020). 
  • U.S. Department of Education, “Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Model Terms of Use,” (Washington, DC: Author, 2016), https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/resources/protecting-student-privacy-while-using-online-educational-services-model-terms-service. 
  • Western Interstate Commission For Higher Education, “Key Elements for Strengthening State Laws and Policies Pertaining to Student Data Use, Privacy, and Security: Guidance for State Policymakers,” http://www.wiche.edu/info/policy/lac/2014_meeting_materials/Ed_Counsel_Guidance_on_Sta te_Student_Privacy_and_Security_Policies.pdf/ (accessed June 17, 2020).