For Immediate Release: January 12, 2015
Contact: Renee Rybak Lang renee.lang@nasbe.org 703-740-4841

NASBE Applauds Federal Efforts to Ensure Student Data Privacy and Encourage State Leadership

Alexandria, Va. – National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Executive Director Kristen Amundson issued the following statement on the student data privacy proposals President Obama announced today at the Federal Trade Commission:

“We applaud President Obama’s continued efforts to raise student data privacy as a significant issue that deserves attention and support from all levels of government. We especially support efforts to strengthen state leadership in this area. States truly are the laboratories of democracy, and we are very happy that the President’s proposal is based on a recent California law.

“Parents, teachers, and policymakers have a right to expect that the privacy and security of all students will be protected in schools. State boards of education are leaders in this effort already: almost half of the data privacy legislation introduced in state legislatures last year put state boards of education in charge of writing their state’s privacy rules or some aspect of governing student data privacy. NASBE also supports the added efforts of the Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assurance Center, which has been invaluable, despite their limited resources, in providing guidance to policymakers across the country.

“Any state or executive action must not only ensure student information is secure and private, but should do so without inadvertently banning technologies that can help children succeed and compete in today’s global economy. Effective data use supports student achievement and allows the efficient operation of schools, and it is essential that any student data privacy legislation balances the need for timely and accurate information with the need for safeguarding student privacy.

“We urge the White House to encourage states to adopt overarching best practices—such as those in NASBE’s recently adopted student data privacy public education position—and allow them to tailor those best practices to suit their unique educational environments, rather than offer specific policy prescriptions. NASBE looks forward to working closely with the Obama administration on these issues over the coming months.”

More information on NASBE’s education data privacy project can be found here.

The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. Our principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in the education of all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.

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