The importance of education in our society cannot be understated.  As SCOTUS expressed in the most infamous education case: “Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments”  Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954).  Yesterday.  Today.  And, tomorrow.

Education is such an important function of our government, yet our personal privacy rights are extinguished with a blink of an eye.

Ken Wagner, NYSED associate education commissioner, says that “the state has started uploading records with student codes to InBloom and will begin adding students’ names and addresses by mid-January“.  He also states that data is needed to “spot at risk students.”  

Ken Wagner, answer these questions:
1) What basis is there for requiring personally identifiable information to spot at risk students?

2) There’s a need for a name to come to such a conclusion?

3) Couldn’t an identification number, rather than a name, identify a student to those who need to “spot at risk students?”

Districts have NO control over their student data – UNLESS and UNTIL they make the request to have the data deleted as addressed in my prior post (request data be deleted regarding deletion language in a contract between NYSED and InBloom.  ALL district superintendents should be requesting the deletion pursuant to the provision in that contract.  

I submit that NOT doing so is educational malpractice!  No, there is no such codification in New York law of educational malpractice, but I think the argument can and should be made.  

Does a school have a duty to students? What is that duty? Or, what is the standard of care a school owes a student?  Will there be a breach of that duty when records are released?  Is this educational malpractice?  Certainly, the courts have refused to provide a standard of care as that would open the floodgates of litigation and schools would be bankrupt by legal fees.

How is providing personally identifiable information without local control nor parental consent not educational malpractice?  Who is left to protect our children’s sensitive personal information?  Parents are out of the equation and local districts cannot stop NYSED from “re-disclosing” the data.

Hard to believe. Right?  However, according to Public Consulting Group (the company that NYSED contracted with citing FERPA § 99.31(a)(3)) the NYSED has the authority to re-disclose the data without districts’ consent!

In the Preamble to the final regulations, ED clarified that the redisclosure of PII under §99.31(a)(6)(ii) does not r equire the consent of the educational agencies and institutions that disclosed the PII to the FERPA-permitted entities. The FERPA amendments become effective on January 3, 2012.


How can we allow this to happen?  

Please contact your Senator and Assemblyman DAILY via phone, fax, email, snail mail.  Tell every parent you see.  Demand action on the part of your superintendent.  If we don’t stop it – no one will!