Archived Information

Recommendation - 2.4

All learners will have engaging and empowering learning experiences both in and outside of school that prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society.
To meet this goal, we recommend the following action:

2.4 Recommendation: Revise practices, policies, and regulations to ensure privacy and information protection while enabling a model of assessment that includes ongoing student learning data gathering and sharing for continuous improvement.

Every parent of a student under 18 and every student over 18 should have the right to access the student’s assessment data in the form of an electronic learning record that follows the student throughout his or her educational career. At the same time, appropriate safeguards, including stripping records of identifying information and aggregating data across students, classrooms, and schools, can make it possible to supply education data derived from student records to other legitimate users without compromising student privacy. The Department of Education should encourage K-12 and higher education institutions and districts and states to partner with each other to invest in pilot projects that explore new policies and strategies for achieving this. At the national level, the Department should support the development and dissemination of “best practices” that ensure privacy protection while providing access to data that can be used in decision-making, evaluation, and research at the district, state, and national levels.

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Comments

This recommendation makes sense in that parents and students should have a way to quickly assess their progress and growth throughout not just a single school year, but also throughout an academic career, thus making it easier to identify shortcomings on the part of the students, and areas that need improvement. However, as many school districts and higher education institutions already provide an electronic means for parents and students to check academic progress, the need to have this recommendation may be moot. Perhaps if a "best practices" study were tied to freely available and/or open-source solutions to providing this, then the time invested would be worthwhile. Too many school districts are only given choices of how to share student achievement according to the vendor they've hired to provide the district with an online reporting solution, and any best practices publication coming from the DOE would give districts a better stance to either provide their own solution, or at least provide a common "floor" of service for vendors to provide.