Nathan Baca reports on a controversy noted yesterday on this blog.
Online charter school Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, claims the audit methods used by the Ohio Department of Education is illegal.
ECOT helps educate more than 15,000 students statewide using online only classrooms instead of the traditional brick and mortar schools.
State regulators asked for each ECOT students’ log-in and log-out records.
ECOT told 10 Investigates that five hours of instruction means something different for every student and they disagree with the need to disclose that log out information so strongly that they sued for breach of contract.
According to an ECOT news release, “ODE’s FTE manual and state law make clear that ODE employees may never leave a review site with any ‘personally identifiable information’ regarding a student. Leaving the review site with the information is a 4th degree misdemeanor.”
It appears that ECOT is trying to wave a privacy flag to get parents outraged against the Ohio Department of Education. That’s often a good PR move, except….. there’s this court order, ya see…. and ECOT allegedly could have stripped names and replaced them with ID numbers, which they allegedly declined to do:
“…ODE is reviewing the documents at issue pursuant to the terms of a court order allowing ODE to access that information, and ODE is preserving the confidentiality of the information stored in the records. To the extent that ECOT is actually concerned about student confidentiality like it claims, ODE offered to have ECOT produce the log-in/log-out information with an identification number in lieu of the name – but to date, ECOT has declined that offer.”
Read more on 10TV.
So ECOT: try another strategy. That “think of the kids’ privacy” bit just doesn’t seem to be cutting it.