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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida senator files bills to prevent schools from collecting student identifying data



One of the many points in the anti-Common Core arsenal is the concern that student personal data, including psychological information, could be "mined" and misused. The fact that some school districts have taken steps to collect such identifying information, such as when Polk schools launched iris scans for bus riders, has only served to fan the fears.

State Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, has filed two bills to prevent at least some of the information from being gathered.

SB 188 would require districts that collect biometric data to set policies that strictly govern the practice, including allowing parents to opt out of the system. It also would ensure that no data would be shared without a parent's specific written permission.

SB 232 would go a step further, stating that no school may collect biometric information for any reason.

Last year, the Legislature adopted a measure designed to improve the state's education data collection and storage. Some Core opponents celebrated the defeat of SB 878, meanwhile, saying it would have created an online searchable database of student information, a step toward data mining. The bill did state that personal identifying information would be kept confidential in accordance with the law.

The worries continue, as Core advocates and antagonists stake out their positions. Watch for more legislation to emerge as committees continue to meet. Read more on the issue in this NY Times story.

[Last modified: Monday, October 7, 2013 12:45pm]


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