Dear Utah School Board,
Last week, I asked a simple yes or no question. I received one response, and that board member did not say yes or not, but said he’d forward my question to Judy Park’s secretary. I still have no answer.
The question is simple: Is it possible for a student in Utah to attend public school and not be tracked by the P-20 and SLDS tracking systems?
On Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM, Austin, Lorraine <Lorrain.Austin@schools.utah.gov> wrote:
I have consulted with the Associate Superintendent in the office over data collection, and have received the following answer to your question:
All students who attend public schools have their data submitted to USOE for multiple purposes including accountability and monitoring aggregate student progress. USOE does not release student level data. Current data systems do not allow for individual student data to be withheld from the data submission process. Current state and federal accountability requires that a minimum of 95% of students participate in all assessment programs.
Lorraine Austin, Secretary to the Board
Utah State Board of Education
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200
Thank you! I appreciate you going to the effort to find the answer to my question. I have a follow-up question.
The Associate Superintendent over data collection said that USOE does not release student level data; could you tell me how long that policy will remain in place and where I can find it in written form? Thank you.
I am concerned with this question because Joanne Weiss, the U.S. Education Department’s chief of staff, said that information from multiple federal data systems is being “mashed together” on the federal level and will be further mashed with state data. The U.S. Department of Education’s research agency is releasing information to “help” move states toward “developing partnerships” to use the student information gathered from state longitudinal data systems. (Source: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/07/ed_urges_states_to_make_data_s.html?cmp=SOC-SHR-FB )
Another source confirms this trend: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9201404.htm
It says, “Statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS’s) are a single solution to manage, disaggregate, analyze, and leverage education information within a state. In recent years, the scope of these systems has broadened from the K-12 spectrum to now encompass pre-kindergarten through higher education and workforce training (P-20W) ” and that regional and federal groups are linked clients of Choice Solutions, Utah’s data networking partner.
Added to these facts is the fact that recent changes were made by the Department of Education to FERPA (privacy laws/regulations) that remove the necessity for researchers to gather parental or student consent prior to accessing personally identifiable information (PII).
So the only thing standing between our students’ PII and interstate, intrastate and federal persual (including entrepreneurs and both governmental and nongovernmental researchers) is local policy.
That is why I’d like to see what that policy is, and when it’s due to expire.
Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.