When it comes the Connecticut General Assembly and education policy, one of the most important developments was the passage, last year, of a new Connecticut Student Data Privacy Act that requires school districts to institute reasonable safeguards when selling, sharing or providing outside entities access to student information, student records, or student-generated content.
Without this law, many school districts had failed to adopted appropriate policies associated with contracts between school districts and corporations that are interested in collecting, buying, selling or using what should obviously be confidential student data.
Now, in an astonishing, baffling and extremely disturbing move, State Representative Stephen Harding (R-107th District) has introduced legislation (HB 5233) to repeal this important law (Public Act 16-189)
Representative Stephen Harding was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in a 2015 Special Election and then ran unopposed in 2016. He represents Brookfield and parts of Bethel and Danbury. It is not clear who would ask Representative Harding to propose such a bill or why the representative would seek to do such harm to Connecticut’s students, parents and public schools.
However, Harding’s bill (https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/TOB/h/2017HB-05233-R00-HB.htm) would do exactly that.
Without the law there would be no requirement that schools districts have contractual standards that limits the use or potential abuse of student data by vendors.
The law simply requires transparency and standards about how children’s information can be used, secured, accessed by third party contractors or online online operators and clearly states that work created by students belongs to those students.
Parents and privacy advocates may want to contact State Representative Stephen Harding (R-107):
Concerned individual should also consider contacting the legislature’s Education Committee to urge them not to take up Harding’s anti-student, anti-parent legislation.
Education Committee Office: (860) 240‑0420
For more information about this law and attempts to repeal it, go to the CT Alliance for Privacy in Education. CAPE Facebook page.
As the Alliance notes, “No friend to children, to parents, to security, or transparency” would propose delaying or repealing this vital law.
Meanwhile, as the Missouri Education Watchdog blog reports in The proposed NSA-like national database for student data: Moneyball for kids, there is a move afoot to build a new massive “national database,”: See “Student data systems unite!-2010 and recently re-fueled by Bill Gates’ 2016 Priorities, which outlines the need to link k12 data with higher ed data, creating a national database. MEW wrote about this and another commission on collecting, ranking student emotions here. Gates is lobbying to create a national student tracking database on k-12 children, which is currently banned.”
For more information about this national effort go to: http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/the-proposed-nsa-like-national-database-for-student-data-moneyball-for-kids/