The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.

Education Leaders Report   |   October 2016Volume 4, No. 4
School Surveillance: The Consequences for Equity and Privacy


Despite introducing more than 400 bills on student data privacy since 2014, states have yet to address privacy protections for school surveillance or its inequitable effects. NASBE Legal Fellow J. William Tucker and Amelia Vance, NASBE’s director of education data and technology, identify the benefits and potential problems that school surveillance poses, and they suggest six principles to guide state policymakers toward effective, balanced policies.

The desire to keep students safe is among the top reasons why schools use surveillance technologies. But the authors warn that surveillance can be abused and lead to unintended consequences. “Security measures can interfere with the trust and cooperation learning requires by creating barriers among students, teachers, and officials and casting schools in a negative light in students’ eyes,” write Tucker and Vance. As a result, students may feel less nurtured, more uncomfortable in their learning environment, and more fearful of voicing their opinions in class.


School Surveillance: The Consequences for Equity and Privacy




Related Content

Featured Items

Image Credit: iStock i

States Make Plans for Reopening

In anticipation of the 2020–21 school year, states have been creating and updating guidance for district and school reopening plans. Several trends emerge.
Image Credit: iStock Photo i

Remote Learning in Early Childhood

If online learning is not designed with early childhood in mind, many children will not be able to build a strong foundation for their education and will fail to establish the structure and routines that learning requires.
Elementary student using computer for distance learning. Image credit: iStock i

Six Questions State Boards Should Ask to Foster Effective Digital Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated and exacerbated gaps implementing online learning effectively for all students. State boards can ask questions to better assess technology use in their states.

Upcoming Events

From the States

  • Measures of SEL and School Climate in California

    CORE Districts plumb the possibilities of using holistic measures to improve schools.

  • Kansas State Board Confronts Youth Vaping

    The usage of vaping products among middle school students has increased at alarming rates. Federal and state policymakers are addressing this crisis, including in Kansas, where the state board of education acted quickly to engage stakeholders on curbing youth vaping.