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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Common Core testing group aims to ease data security concerns



One complaint about the Common Core is that the government seeks to use data collected during testing to spy on children and their families.

There's been little evidence to back that claim, with the national data model being voluntary and federal laws prohibiting the release or use of individually indentifiable student information.

But the accusations continue to reverberate. In response, the PARCC testing consortium that Florida is considering whether to quit has set forth new guidelines it says will protect the privacy and security of student data. The policy would ensure that states strictly control all collected data, limiting access to only specific purposes supporting state accountability efforts.

The policy also prohibits sharing the information with outside entities, including the federal government, without the explicit approval of the individual states.

"Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, states have reported school-level data from their state assessments to the U.S. Department of Education. As we move towards the consortia assessments, those requirements have not changed or increased. Individual states will continue to make decisions about how to fulfill those reporting requirements while protecting student confidentiality," Bari Erlichson, Assistant Commissioner and Chief Performance Officer at the New Jersey Department of Education, said in a release.

See a summary of the PARCC policy here or read the full document here. Do you think it will be enough to alleviate the concerns of the critics?

[Last modified: Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:24am]


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