Tamar Lewin reports on what is likely the most significant FERPA case that I can recall in almost a decade:
It was bad enough for the University of Illinois when The Chicago Tribune’s 2009 series “Clout Goes to College” exposed the existence of a “clout list” that over five years gave hundreds of well-connected students an edge in admissions, and led to the resignations of the university president, the chancellor of the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus and most of the trustees.
But two years later, the university is still mired in litigation before the federal appeals court in Chicago, fighting the release of more documents the newspaper has asked for, including the names and addresses of the parents on the clout list. The university has turned over about 5,200 pages of documents to the newspaper. But in a separate state court proceeding, The Tribune is seeking the grade point averages and ACT scores of the students accepted from the clout list.
Those requests set off a shootout between the state’s freedom of information law and the federal privacy law for educational records.
Read more on New York Times.