Twitter was abuzz yesterday as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) met to discuss a revamp of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—or No Child Left Behind (NCLB) as its most recent (2001) reauthorization is known. Those of us at DQC were ourselves abuzz because there was so much discussion of data! Senators offered, and accepted, a range of amendments focusing on the collection, reporting, and use of data.
A few #eddata highlights:
Senator Baldwin’s (D-WI) amendment, which asks states to review their annual assessments for quantity and quality, also asks that audits of assessment quality take into account how the assessment data is being usedby educators. Throughout the ESEA hearing yesterday, I was so happy to see the focus on the need not just to have data, but to use it. Earlier versions of Baldwin’s amendment (known as the SMART Act) also included provisions for teacher and school leader training in assessment and data literacy. I would love to see this focus on the skills needed to use data be part of ESEA conversations going forward.
Senator Bennet (D-CO) offered an amendment, which passed, that asks states to audit their data systems to be sure that they are meeting the data use needs of districts while reducing their reporting burden. I was floored—and thrilled—to see the focus on alignment and reducing the burden on districts from collection and compliance!
Much conversation was had about the types of data points that should be collected by states and included on state report cards, like information about career and technical education (passed), military status (passed), and cross-tabulation and disaggregation of data (failed). While some of these ideas were more popular than others with the committee, the focus on including information on state report cards that provides a more comprehensive picture of kids and schools was just great. DQC recommends that Congress also consider ways to support and incentivize states to create easy-to-access, -use, and -read report cards that meet 2015 realities.
While there are many hearings, meetings, floor votes, and likely a conference committee left before ESEA is reauthorized, it was so heartening to see an emphasis on the availability and use of quality data on the part of the Senate committee yesterday. As we say often in the DQC office, “To progress!”
It may be hard to believe, but since just last month, states have introduced over 30 new student data privacy bills! That means that as of today, 42 states have introduced 170 student privacy bills. Three states have now signed eight student data privacy bills into law.
Here’s a (very) quick look at each of the new laws:
HB 1241 prohibits the state from providing access to students’ personally identifiable information (PII) to the US Department of Education or any federal partner (including technical assistance providers and program monitors) without parental consent.
HB 1961 is based on California’s SOPIPA language from 2014 and prohibits online service providers from using student data for commercial or secondary purposes, while allowing data use for program improvement.
HB 68 requires the State Board of Education to make recommendations to the legislature on updating student privacy, security, and data use laws, and requires the state board to designate a chief privacy officer.
HB 163 requires an education entity to notify parents if there is a release of their student's PII due to a security breach.
SB 204allows a parent to opt their child out of any federally or state mandated assessment.
HB 2350 directs the state to develop a model data security plan for districts and to designate a chief data security officer to assist local school divisions with the development or implementation of data use and security policies.
HB 1334 requires the state to develop policies ensuring state and local compliance with federal and state privacy laws and requires parental notification in instances of possible disclosures of electronic records in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
HB 1698 requires parental notice and allows opt out of any survey on "sensitive" topics.
These laws cover several different topics ranging from online apps to survey data to local data policies. They also adopt different approaches (sometimes even within the same state!), with some new laws focusing on governing data and others trying to limit the data collected.
Within this diverse array of new laws, two critical themes seem to be on the minds of state legislators: the role of third-party service providers and how to best support and build capacity at the local level. As states and districts increasingly work with service providers to make the most of their education data, states are working to update their laws and policies and ensure their districts have the model policies, leadership, and guidance they need to be successful.
New Book: How Do School Leaders Effectively Use Data to Improve Achievement?
In 2013 the Petworth neighborhood campus of Center City Public Charter Schools posted the biggest English Language Learner (ELL) achievement gains in Washington, DC. Through the use of data, teachers and other education leaders in the school found patterns that improved instruction by addressing the unique needs of each student.