Superintendent Janet Barresi called the new law a well thought out approach to protect student information.
“The Oklahoma State Department of Education has been working with local administrators and teachers to determine what data they need from the state to improve student learning,” said Supt. Barresi. “As more data are made available to classroom teachers, the state needs thoughtful and transparent rules about who can access the data and how it can be used.”
It is anticipated this new level of transparency will lead to a healthy public debate about the proper role and scope of data collected on the State’s public school students. With the level of detail now available to the public, concerned Oklahomans will have the information necessary to better guide policy makers in decisions regarding the sensitive issue of information collected on students. As lawmakers, we look forward to a public conversation on this issue and expect to run additional legislation in the future to build on this foundation.
“This was a combined effort to ensure that the new law would achieve desired outcomes without causing unintended consequences for teachers and students,” says Rep. Brumbaugh, adding that, “we will continue to work with the Department of Education as they implement the law.”
HB1989 received near unanimous support, passing the House 88-2 and the Senate 41-0. The bill was signed by Gov. Fallin on May 29th and becomes effective July 1.
The Student DATA Act:
• requires the State Board of Education to publish a public inventory of student data elements collected by the State Department of Education with definitions of each student data element,
• requires the Board to publish a public list of additional student data elements it is proposing for collection including a statement about the reason for the proposal,
• requires the Board to develop and make public policies and procedures to comply with all relevant privacy laws,
• requires the Board to develop and make public policies limiting who can access student data, what student data can be accessed and the circumstances under which the data may be accessed,
• requires that student data collected and maintained by the Department be kept confidential except where the Board has developed and made publicly available the criteria for exceptions,
• requires the Board to ensure compliance by the Department with privacy laws,
• requires the Board to ensure vendor contracts include express provision that safeguard privacy and include penalties for noncompliance, and
• requires the Board to make annual reports to the Governor and Legislature.
• establishes new strict limits on the transfer of student data, including de-identified data, to federal, state or local agencies or organizations outside Oklahoma, and
• further restricts the Department from requesting delinquency records, criminal records, medical and health records, social security numbers and biometric information as part of student data collected from districts.