FBI Warns of Grave Cyber Security Threat to Students from School Tech

Finally! Although the horse may be long out of the barn, the FBI should nevertheless be commended for issuing this warning about the dangers of education technology and cyber security threats for students and their families: The FBI is encouraging public awareness of cyber threat concerns related to K-12 students. The US school systems’ rapid growth of education technologies (EdTech) and widespread collection of student data could have privacy and safety implications if compromised or exploited. The warning gives a list of many types of data that can maliciously exploited, rightly saying that this is not all-inclusive: personally identifiable information

Students’ Privacy Under Serious Threat in Era of School Shootings

As the number of school shootings increase, social media and mental health data are becoming very hot commodities. The federal School Safety Commission talked about how data sharing can be improved to prevent school violence at both of its July 11th and July 26th meetings. The trend in both meetings was to see the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as creating a barrier to sharing information that could have prevented tragedies like the Parkland shooting. For example, as described in Education Week coverage of the July 26th meeting: Clarence Cox III, the president of the National Organization of

6 Key Takeaways from Congress’ Hearing on Protecting Student Data

Yesterday, the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing titled, “Protecting Privacy, Promoting Data Security: Exploring How Schools and States Keep Data Safe.” Here are some key takeaways: 1.) More leaders are realizing the need to reduce the amount of student data collected. By far, the best witness from a parental rights and pro-privacy perspective was David Couch, Chief Information Officer for the Kentucky Department of Education. A former military cyber security expert, his most cogent remarks had to do with decreasing the amount of data collected: We have put KDE on a “healthy data diet” so that

Over 100 Grassroots Leaders to Congress: Protect Students’ Privacy!

This week, the American Principles Project, Education Liberty Watch, and Eagle Forum, along with leaders from more than 100 organizations both nationally and in 31 states, called on Congress to rewrite the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In a letter to the House Education and Workforce Committee, these organizations strongly urged Congress to protect the property interest that citizens have in their personal data and to recognize that it is not the role or right of government to probe a child’s most personal and sensitive attributes. Emmett McGroarty, senior fellow at American Principles Project and co-author of the new book, Deconstructing

The Student Data Grabbers Are Back in Washington — And They Want More

Despite Bill Gates tacit admission that his Common Core experiment failed (which is true of every other education experiment he has tried), he and his data grabbing grantees in academia and foundations along with allies in the federal government are still after our children’s data like a crack addict after his next hit. Last week, Gates announced that the next $1.7 billion he will spend on education will be heavily focused on student data collection. Now, Professor Morgan Polikoff — an education professor and researcher whose work on implementing Common Core and developing assessment-based teacher accountability systems (a huge failure) is