Catherine Gewertz writes:
The PARCC testing group approved a new policy Thursday that is intended to safeguard personally identifiable information about students that is collected as part of states’ common-core assessment regimens.
The action comes as debate continues to swirl about how student data will be used by PARCC (the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) and the other federally funded assessment consortium, Smarter Balanced. Some critics have raised alarms because they fear that the two state coalitions will hand over student data to the federal government.
PARCC’s new policy, approved by the governing board of the 19-member consortium, attempts to respond to this concern.
On the opening page of a 14-page document, the policy says that states will provide personally identifiable information, such as students’ names, addresses, identification numbers, or dates of birth, along with their performance on PARCC exams, to PARCC and its contractors, but that information “will never be provided by PARCC to the federal government without written authority from a state, or unless legally required to do so by subpoena or court order.”
Further, no state agency or school district will ever disclose students’ social security numbers to PARCC or its contractors, the policy says.
Read more on Education Week. Of course, one of the major problems here – and as we’ve already seen in New York – is that the states can authorize what parents and districts might refuse to share. And this goes far beyond the issue of Social Security numbers.