Empower educators to access and use data to improve outcomes for children
Created by William Buchanan
This campaign needs to raise $5,000 to hire one of our lobbyists. 100% of donations go towards paying lobbying fees for this issue.
The importance of data interoperability and integration in the education sector cannot be understated. Each year more than $5,000,000,000 are spent in the K-12 education sector on education technology products and services and this is just the sticker price. Without fully integrated systems educational organizations routinely incur substantial costs to support implementing these products above and beyond the purchase price. How many organizations are capable of providing clear, valid, and reliable evidence that these investments provide the returns we need and want for our children? How many of us are satisfied knowing that our educational organizations are spending resources to cobble together fragile customized workarounds to these products instead of using those resources to support classroom educators and children directly? This issue is important to me because I know – as an “at-risk student” – the amount of support and resources children need to be successful and am not willing to allow other children to fall through the cracks because corporations prioritize profits over improving the lives of children. We can fix the problem together, and I hope you’ll support this effort to improve educational outcomes for children.
About Data Interoperability in Education
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Among many things, it provides a legal mechanism for parents/guardians and eligible students to access and inspect their data, have a right to privacy, and a mechanism to file complaints if their rights have been infringed upon. Although FERPA specifies that schools, districts, state agencies, and higher education institutions are supposed to maintain direct control of their data, the proliferation of organizations working to address data interoperability and integration concerns in the education sector provides clear and compelling evidence that education technology vendors are failing to provide this capability to their customers.
Our goal in this campaign will be to modify existing policy/statute to ensure that education technology customers are guaranteed direct control and access to their data and to provide the enforcement mechanisms that are currently missing. Data security and privacy measures still need to remain in-tact but in order to maximize our educators’ ability to make the best-informed decisions about how to allocate tax-payer dollars in a way that improves educational outcomes for the largest number of children possible.
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This campaign would hire a lobbyist to help amend current legislation in order to ensure that educational organizations are able to access the data about their students from third-party application developers. Since these organizations are overwhelmingly public institutions it is in the nation’s best interest to ensure that these data are available and accessible in sustainable and maintainable ways to support our students.