Thursday, September 20, 2007

Do You Know Who Has Your Student's Information?

I came across this interesting website which talks about how student information is sold to companies by schools and other institutions.

More and more states are establishing databases with all sorts of information about children attending public and private schools, as well as homeschools too! What they do with the data is anybody's guess. But every time you fill out a form or provide information to anyone, that data goes somewhere and sometimes it can end up being sold.

In Connecticut, the State Department of Education has established the Public School Information System student information database, which has been expanded to include more information over the years. Supposedly they use it to track student performance.

I have heard from a few people that they have gotten letters of solicitation from companies based on their student's performance on standardized tests. Of course we also know that the military also obtains information about high school and college students.

Parents should know that their children's information is protected under FERPA laws, but that parents must also stipulate how the data may or may not be used.

One has to wonder how companies like American Student List obtain their information.

With privacy becoming more and more of a big issue, it certainly should give all parents a wake up call to find out what their local school or Department of Education is doing with the data they have on file about their children as well as their family.

(H/T Bob M.)