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Finding the Balance: Accessing the benefits of data while safeguarding student information

• Patricia Levesque

April 10, 2015

2015-04-10 Data Privacy Email SmallDear Friend,

Last week, Georgia passed the Student Data Privacy, Accessibility and Transparency Act (SB 89). This is the first bill in the nation that comprehensively protects student data while also improving parental access to their own child’s data.

Data empowers parents and children as they map out their educational journey, supports high-quality teaching, drives personalized 2015-04-10 Edited Long Data Privacy Emaillearning and underpins both teacher and school accountability. States must find ways to support beneficial uses of data, while also protecting students’ information to create a trusted learning environment that contributes to student success.
Working with experts and advocates, ExcelinEd has developed model state legislation that:

  • Establishes a state Chief Privacy Officer to be responsible for privacy and security policy including helping schools improve their policies and practice.
  • Requires states to develop and publish a Data Inventory, Governance and Security Plan so that parents understand what student data are collected and the reasons for its collection.
  • Establishes restrictions on data related to sensitive information such as political and religious affiliation.
  • Places restrictions on operators’ use of student data that builds on the framework introduced under California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA).
  • Provides faster access for parents to their child’s education records and creates a process to resolve complaints of privacy violations.

This is a common sense, bipartisan approach—the legislation passed unanimously—that protects students, supports innovation and empowers parents.

ExcelinEd is ready to support legislators, policymakers and advocates as they work to modernize outdated laws and respond to the concerns of parents. This work supports our broader reform agenda and enables the innovation offered through digital learning.

Are you interested in learning more about the value of data to education?  Enroll now in our self-paced online course launched in partnership with the Data Quality Campaign.  You’ll have the chance to learn from top policy, education and industry experts.  The course was designed for leaders like you in mind.


Patricia Levesque
Chief Executive Officer
Foundation for Excellence in Education

About the author

Patricia Levesque @levesquepat

Patricia is the Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She served as Governor Jeb Bush’s deputy chief of staff for education, enterprise solutions for government, minority procurement, and business and professional regulation. Previously, Patricia served six years in the Florida Legislature in the Speakers Office and as staff director over education policy. Contact Patricia at