Fordham Law

Senior Lawmaker Cites CLIP Study in Letter to Education Secretary

March 25, 2010

Congressman John Kline, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, recently cited CLIP's privacy study in a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Kline expressed his concern about student privacy vis-a-vis the Department of Education's goal to expand data systems that collect information on the country's students.

He writes, "A recent study by Fordham Law School's Center on Law and Information Policy concludes that the Department's effort to promote interoperability between state student data systems 'appears as a backdoor means to create a national database of children's information without express authority under NCLB to do so.' The study's authors note, '[T]he lack of a privacy policy debate is a major concern. One would expect the federal government's role in the interopeable standards to be minimal since NCLB did not authorize a national aggregation of data and interoperability functions to make aggregation and sharing easier.' The Fordham report also raises serious questions about the prudence of pushing states to expand student data systems at a time when existing data systems are highly vulnerable to invasions of student privacy and 'do not appear to comply with the privacy requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.'"

Read the full letter.