Sep 19, 2017
ELW

Submit Federal Education Privacy Comments by 9-20 at 11:59 PM!

We now have an opportunity to protect the privacy and minds of our children. We can submit comments in support of President Trump’s effort to scale back regulations, particularly in the U.S. Department of Education on several of these topics. All comments must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 20th at this website:  https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=ED-2017-OS-0074-0001.
Here are two big areas of “fed ed” regulations. There are more detailed comments below that you may add if you want to, but all you really need to do is to ask for 1) Withdrawal of all the FERPA regulatory changes made to 34 CFR, Part 99 that went into effect in January of 2012 and 2) Enforcement of the statutory prohibition on assessing “attitudes and beliefs” of a student or their family in ESSA’s state mandated assessments or in the NAEP.
Thank you for what you can do and for your efforts to protect the hearts and minds of children!
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Detailed Additional Information for Potential Comments
1) FERPA – Withdraw the regulatory changes to FERPA that went into effect in 2012. This would prevent USED, state agencies, and schools from disclosing personally identifiable information (PII) to literally anyone in the world, without parental consent or even notification, if the disclosing entity uses the correct language to justify the disclosure. Ask USED to:

Restore the longstanding, pre-2012 definitions and interpretations of an “authorized representative,” “education program,” and other terms.

Stop a state department of education or other agency that receives PII for other purposes from redisclosing that data to other entities, such as researchers, without parental consent.

Restore the audit exception so that the requirement (previously contained in 34 CFR §99.35(a)(2)) that in order for a state or local educational authority to conduct an audit, evaluation, or compliance or enforcement activity, it must demonstrate authority to do so under some federal, state, or local grant of authority.

2) Enforce the statutes prohibiting the assessment of “attitudes and beliefs” in surveys associated with ESSA’s mandated state tests and in the NAEP.
Such surveys (which are being administered without parental consent) violate one or both of the following:

ESSA [20 U.S.C. §6311(b)(2)(B)(iii)] requiring statewide assessments to “objectively measure academic achievement, knowledge, and skills, and be tests that do not evaluate or assess personal or family beliefs and attitudes or disclose personally identifiable information.” There is identical language in the Education Sciences Reform Act that covers the NAEP [20 USC §9622(b)(5)(A)]

PPRA [20 U.S.C. §1232h(b)(1-8)], which requires parental review and consent for surveys in federally funded education programs that ask about 8 sensitive items, including mental health, illegal or anti-social behavior; or sexual behavior or attitudes.

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