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Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies

4.D. Professional Ethical Standards

The use and misuse of student data are covered to some extent by professional ethical standards. Several documents should be reviewed and considered in this area. However, professional ethical standards may not conflict with the requirements under FERPA that state that parents must be provided access to their children’s education records. See the references at the end of this section. Particularly relevant sets of ethical standards include:

  • Ethical Standards for School Counselors (American School Counselor Association 1992)
  • Ethics and Law for School Psychologists (Jacob-Timm and Hartshorne 1994)
  • Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests, produced jointly by the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education. This document specifically addresses the use of test results. Also, a good resource is The Program Evaluation Standards, published by the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (1994). These standards describe ethics related to respecting and protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects.
  • Guidelines for Protecting Confidential Student Health Information, published by the American School Health Association (2000), in collaboration with the National Association of School Nurses and the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants, provides a wealth of recommendations specifically concerned with navigating a course through conflict obligations.