Part III—Securing the Data, Protecting the individual

As state and local education agencies implement LDSs, the collection, management, and dissemination of individual student records will increase the need to protect individual privacy and dramatically raise the stakes for data security. While many state agencies, districts, and schools have not maintained student-level longitudinal data in the past, many have handled extensive and sensitive records on individual students and staff. And even the aggregate data sets maintained at the district and state levels may contain information that can be used to single out individual students, thus requiring special protection.

A number of federal and state laws and related regulations exist to protect the privacy of individuals, and these laws and regulations must be followed. Education agencies must also create and implement their own policies and procedures to guide staff in accordance with these laws and regulations, and these policies and procedures should be reinforced with staff training and technology solutions to protect sensitive records. The final two chapters address these issues.