“CCER should apologize to the students and parents of Hamden for obtaining specific student information without their knowledge or approval,” said CEA’s Executive Director Mark Waxenberg. “CCER should also assure all Connecticut parents that in the future CCER will not attempt to gain access to and ownership of student records and information without parental knowledge and consent.”
In response to the Connecticut Council for Education Reform’s (CCER) statement this afternoon, Waxenberg offered the following facts and released the Memorandum of Understanding between Hamden and CCER regarding the release of student data.
“In order to underscore our earlier news release regarding the Hamden School District disclosing identifiable student data to CCER—without the knowledge of parents or students—we are sharing with the media the Memorandum of Understanding that details specific student data CCER requested from Hamden.
CCER requested, and in many cases mandated that it receive individual and specific student information across various files and categories beginning with an identifying number, birthday, student characteristics, demographic information, student types, and enrollment information, including the names and dates of schools students attended.
CCER specifically requested: (See Memo Part 2: Excel Sheet: Student Demographics 2013-2014, p. 16 )
- Unique student identifiers (Mandatory)
- Student current grade (Mandatory)
- Male or female (Mandatory)
- Student birthdate (Mandatory)
- Student ethnicity (e.g., Asian, Native American) (Mandatory)
- ELL status (Mandatory)
- Date student entered grade 9 (Encouraged)
- If a student is eligible for free or reduced meals (Mandatory)
- Homeless status (Encouraged)
- Number of courses students failed (Encouraged)
- Whether student was retained in prior year (Encouraged)
Also requested was information regarding “students with disabilities: designation of students with IEPs and what their federal disability and placement status is,” and “information designating English Language Learner (ELL) students and the type of program they are enrolled in.”
Click here to view the Memorandum of Understanding.
I thank CEA leadership for stepping up, listening to the many concerns that members expressed at recent RA, and responding assertively when recent CCER overreach was made public. Students should not be treated as data points for business entities to monitor, manipulate, and use as they see fit. Anyone who looks into the P20-WIN, state longitudinal data system, should be concerned as it calls for the storage and sharing of confidential, private, and personal information on students and their families. Sadly, the age of “big brother is watching” is here, more than most people know. Once again, I can only hope that the CEA will continue to sound the alarm, inform the public as to the extent of the privacy disclosures, and call on state legislators to correct this erosion of student and parental privacy rights.