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New Alliance Report Makes Case for Data Dashboard Systems Press Release

January 29, 2015

As Congress works to rewrite the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and improve accountability systems for public schools across the country, Data Dashboards: Accounting for What Matters—a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education—highlights how going beyond a test score when assessing achievement in schools and districts provides more transparent and precise ways to continuously track performance, monitor accountability, and ensure the most at-risk students are not lost in the numbers.

Categories:
Data and Privacy

How to keep online advertisers away from your kid’s grades, detention records, and yearbook photos In the News

October 22, 2014

Some cloud-based learning platforms can be secured in the classroom. For example, Google Doc settings should be private, so nobody outside the intended audience (students, teachers, maybe parents) can access documents such as homework and assignments, says Henry Thiele, the assistant superintendent for technology & learning for Maine Township district 207 (which is located in Illinois). First of all, confer with your child and her teacher directly to make sure these basic protections are in place. Next, some good questions ask her teacher are “What’s the instructional information that you collect on my child?” and “How is it being used to help my child?” suggests Thomas Murray, a former school district administrator in Pennsylvania who is now at the DC-based education advocacy group the Alliance for Excellent Education

Categories:
Data and Privacy

An Educator’s Guide to COPPA: Connecting Students to the Internet Webinar/Event

September 29, 2014

This webinar discusses the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1998 to protect the online privacy of children. More than fifteen years later, as digital learning constitutes a critical component of education both in and out of school, COPPA has become yet another hurdle between teachers and connecting students to digital learning opportunities. What do educators need to know about this law? How can educators and school administrators successfully navigate COPPA to ensure that students are afforded the full benefits of online and blended learning opportunities? Can teachers provide consent for students to register for online websites? May students who are under thirteen years old even use Web 2.0 resources without running afoul of the law? When do school districts assume the duty of COPPA compliance?

Categories:
Data and Privacy

Alliance’s Tom Murray comments on Student Data Privacy In the News

September 15, 2014

West Virginia, HB 4316 mandates that the state's Department of Education publish a data inventory, privacy policies and procedures, and a data security plan, among other things. The bill also establishes a data governance manager position appointed by the state superintendent that will be responsible for the department's privacy policy. This flurry of legislative action stems from a number of incidents and activities in the last year that have driven the public to associate data with bad things, said Thomas Murray, state and district digital learning director at the Alliance for Excellent Education, who testified before Congress on student data privacy in June. These incidents include a high-profile Target breach, the National Security Agency "spying" incident, and increased awareness of school and state collection of student data for accountability purposes. As a result, parents and legislators have been looking for answers about what happens with their children's data.

Categories:
Data and Privacy

STUDENT DATA AND PRIVACY: Alliance State and District Learning Director Testifies, Tells Congress, “Fear of Data Must Not Prevent Us from Realizing the Promise of Technology” Article

July 08, 2014

On June 25, in testimony before a joint congressional hearing on student data and privacy, Thomas C. Murray, state and district digital learning director at the Alliance for Excellent Education, said student data can be used effectively to strengthen student achievement and personalize learning for individual students while simultaneously maintaining high levels of student privacy.

Categories:
Data and Privacy

Alliance’s Tom Murray Talks Data and Privacy, “Project 24” In the News

July 07, 2014

Tom Murray, state and district digital learning director at the Alliance for Excellent Education, spoke to Core of Education's Dr. Rod Berger at the ISTE 2014 conference about his recent testimony at a joint congressional hearing on student data and privacy as well as “Project 24” and its efforts with digital learning and technology.

Categories:
Data and Privacy

Congress Urged to Update Student Data Privacy Law In the News

June 30, 2014

Regardless of whether new legislation comes through at the state and federal level, policies should not throw away the opportunity to use cloud-based tools to help students learn for the sake of privacy, said Thomas Murray, state and district digital learning policy and advocacy director for the Alliance for Excellent Education. Rather, they should hold student privacy to high standards while using technology. Murray, a former teacher, shared the story of a girl he called "Susie." This student's dad had left home when she was young, and she struggled with reading comprehension. Through the use of educational software, Murray pinpointed her specific reading comprehension problems and created a personalized learning plan for her that he modified as she improved.

Categories:
Data and Privacy
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