There are a bunch of student privacy tool kits that have been created over the past several years. For example, some civil rights organizations such as the ACLU, and EFF have very robust student privacy offerings; in contrast, some industry funded think tanks and associations have created privacy initiatives designed to provide false security to parents and school administrators.
The student privacy tool kit that I believe every parent, school administrator, and lawmaker should read is the Parent Coalition For Student Privacy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood jointly created Student Privacy Toolkit. Why? Because its well written and created by parents for parents. It doesn’t have a hidden agenda because no edtech dollars were used to influence or fund the effort so you know you can trust it.
Rachael Stickland, Co-Founder of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy told me, “our easy-to-use toolkit gives parents what they need to protect their children’s privacy at school—everything from clarification on parental rights under federal law to simple and practical steps every parent can take to protect students’ personal information in the classroom and beyond.” I agree with her wholeheartedly.
I live in Montgomery County, Maryland so I can send my kids to its highly ranked public school system (MCPS). Unfortunately, despite plenty of resources, MCPS generally doesn’t understand student privacy issues. For example, its now former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who was in charge of protecting our kids personal information gave a presentation at a national conference that contained confidential student information.
Some kindergartners had their names, photos and phone numbers listed in the presentation while some 4th graders had their student identification numbers and test scores posted. This presentation was subsequently posted on a federal government website and wasn’t removed until the media became aware of this matter.
Parents need to be involved every step of the way when it comes to protecting their kids’ personal information. Why? Because it will affect whether their children will be able to get into their dream college which directly influences potential professional opportunities. Therefore, I urge parents to download this privacy tool kit and follow the steps recommended.