Today's Info Policy News
Protecting your children's privacy: The Facts
WHO'S WATCHING YOUR CHILDREN?
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Item(s) found: 85
Friday March 28 2014, 2:18 PM
New York State Education Department Request for Information (RFI) for an Enterprise Identity and Access Management System
NIST DRAFT: Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations
Friday August 19 2011, 6:54 PM
Special Publication 800-53 - Provide a structured set of privacy controls, based on international standards and best practices, that help organizations enforce requirements deriving from federal privacy legislation, policies, regulations, directives, standards, and guidance; • Establish a linkage and relationship between privacy and security controls for purposes of enforcing respective privacy and security requirements which may overlap in concept and in implementation within federal information systems, programs, and organizations; • Demonstrate the applicability of the NIST Risk Management Framework in the selection, implementation, assessment, and monitoring of privacy controls deployed in federal information systems, programs, and organizations; and • Promote closer cooperation between privacy and security officials within the federal government to help achieve the objectives of senior leaders/executives in enforcing the requirements in federal privacy legislation, policies, regulations, directives, standards, and guidance.
Social Media: Federal Agencies Need Policies and Procedures for Managing and Protecting Information They Access and Disseminate
Thursday July 28 2011, 6:51 PM
U.S. Department of Education (USED) Safeguarding Student Privacy
Friday April 08 2011, 6:38 PM
The use of data is vital to ensuring the best education for our children. However, the benefits of using student data must always be balanced with the need to protect students’ privacy rights. Students and their parents should expect that their personal information is safe, properly collected and maintained and that it is used only for appropriate purposes and not improperly redisclosed. It is imperative to protect students’ privacy to avoid discrimination, identity theft or other malicious and damaging criminal acts. All education data holders must act responsibly and be held accountable for safeguarding students’ personally identifiable information – from practitioners of early learning to those developing systems across the education continuum (P-20) and from schools to their contractors. The need for articulated privacy protections and data security continues to grow as Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) are built and more education records are digitized and shared electronically. As States develop and refine their information management systems, it is critical that they ensure that student information continues to be protected and that students’ personally identifiable information is disclosed only for authorized purposes and under the circumstances permitted by law. All P-20 stakeholders should be involved in the development of these statewide systems and protection policies.
Recommendations on Data Security and Privacy Protections
Saturday February 19 2011, 11:00 PM
Excerpted from the Data Protections Report submitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s Performance Information Management Service by Highlight Technologies on June 16, 2010. (Where is original report and comments?)
Proposed Security Assessment & Authorization for U.S. Government Cloud Computing
Thursday November 04 2010, 8:10 PM
Proposed Security Assessment and Authorization for U.S. Government Cloud Computing: Over the past 18 months, an inter-agency team comprised of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), General Services Administration (GSA), the CIO Council and working bodies such as the Information Security and Identity Management Committee (ISIMC), has worked on developing the Proposed Security Assessment and Authorization for U.S. Government Cloud Computing. This team evaluated security controls and multiple Assessment and Authorization models for U.S. Government Cloud Computing as outlined in this document. The attached document is a product of 18 months of collaboration with State and Local Governments, Private Sector, NGO’s and Academia. This marks an early step toward our goal of deploying secure cloud computing services to improve performance and lower the cost of government operations, but we need to improve this document through your input.
Privacy Recommendations for the Use of Cloud Computing by Federal Departments and Agencies Privacy Committee Web 2.0/Cloud Computing Subcommittee -- August 2010
Thursday September 16 2010, 9:02 PM
bstract: Good privacy practices are a key component of agency governance and accountability. One of the Federal government's key business imperatives today is to maintain the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII) we collect and hold. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum 07-16 defines PII as "information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such as their name, social security number, biometric records, etc. alone, or when combined with other personal or identifying information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual, such as date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc." The purpose of this paper, and of privacy interests in general, is not to discourage agencies from using cloud computing; indeed a thoughtfully considered cloud computing solution can enhance privacy and security. Instead, the purpose is to ensure that Federal agencies recognize and consider the privacy rights of individuals, and that agencies identify and address the potential risks when using cloud computing.
Guide to Protecting the Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Monday May 03 2010, 11:04 AM
Recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology - [The escalation of security breaches involving personally identifiable information (PII) has contributed to the loss of millions of records over the past few years. Breaches involving PII are hazardous to both individuals and organizations. Individual harms may include identity theft, embarrassment, or blackmail. Organizational harms may include a loss of public trust, legal liability, or remediation costs. To appropriately protect the confidentiality of PII, organizations should use a risk-based approach; as McGeorge Bundy once stated, "If we guard our toothbrushes and diamonds with equal zeal, we will lose fewer toothbrushes and more diamonds." This document provides guidelines for a risk-based approach to protecting the confidentiality of PII. The recommendations in this document are intended primarily for U.S. Federal government agencies and those who conduct business on behalf of the agencies, but other organizations may find portions of the publication useful. Each organization may be subject to a different combination of laws, regulations, and other mandates related to protecting PII, so an organization‘s legal counsel and privacy officer should be consulted to determine the current obligations for PII protection. For example, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued several memoranda with requirements for how Federal agencies must handle and protect PII. To effectively protect PII, organizations should implement the following recommendations.]
Saturday November 21 2009, 1:02 PM
[Student Information Management -- eSchoolPLUS is a student management system that helps educators and parents by providing them direct, real-time access to the most relevant student information available. Teachers and administrators can easily manage day-to-day student information and data such as demographics, scheduling, attendance, discipline, standardized tests, report cards and transcripts. With eSchoolPLUS, parents gain the ability to be more informed as to their child’s grades, attendance, assignments and discipline information. Superintendents, principals and other district administrators and school board members can track daily school status, student performance and progress.]
Federal data breach notification standard must pre-empt state laws
Monday November 16 2009, 8:33 PM
Nextgov Jill R. Aitoro writes -- [The Data Breach Notification Act, introduced in January by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would authorize the attorney general to bring civil actions against firms that failed to notify people whose personal information had been compromised in a breach and would extend notification requirements to government agencies. The Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, introduced in July by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., also would set notification requirements and tighter criminal penalties for identity theft and willful concealment of a breach, and would require businesses to implement preventive security standards to guard against threats to their databases.] [Two states are credited for having breach notification laws with the most teeth, said Peter McLaughlin, senior counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the law firm's privacy, security and information management practice. Foley & Lardner released a report on Monday that provides in-depth coverage of all major aspects of U.S. and international security breach laws.]
Cloud Standards Effort Could Turn into a Dustup
Monday May 04 2009, 4:32 PM
Digits - Technology News and Insights -- By Ben Worthen - [The Open Cloud Standards Incubator is part of an organization called Distributed Management Task Force. The DMTF was founded in 1992 and has developed standards for managing computers and sharing information on the Web in the past. Its members are a who’s who of the tech industry’s old guard—in addition to IBM and Microsoft they include EMC, H-P, Intel and many others. It’s too early to call the absence of Internet companies a rift, but it’s a split reminiscent of the one that occurred when IBM tried to get companies to sign up for its “Open Cloud Manifesto” a few weeks ago. At the time companies that didn’t participate in IBM’s effort were quick to dismiss the manifesto as meaningless marketing.]
DOD’s and VA’s Sharing of Information
Friday January 30 2009, 10:11 AM
(GAO-09-268) In the more than 10 years since DOD and VA began collaborating to electronically share health information, the two departments have increased interoperability. Nevertheless, while the departments continue to make progress, the manner in which they report progress—by reporting increases in interoperability over time—has limitations. These limitations are rooted in the departments’ plans, which identify interoperable capabilities to be implemented, but lack the results-oriented (i.e., objective, quantifiable, and measurable) goals and associated performance measures that are a necessary basis for effective management. Without establishing results-oriented goals, then reporting progress using measures relative to the established goals, the departments and their stakeholders do not have the comprehensive picture that they need to effectively manage their progress toward achieving increased interoperability. Further constraining the departments’ management effectiveness is their slow pace in addressing our July 2008 recommendation related to setting up the interagency program office that Congress called for to function as a single point of accountability in the development and implementation of electronic health record capabilities.
Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE)
Wednesday January 14 2009, 7:54 PM
BCOE will enable the FBI to provide enhanced U.S. government services in the global quest to fight crime and terrorism with state of the art biometrics technology. Headquartered in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the BCOE is the FBI’s focal point to foster collaboration, improve information sharing, and advance the adoption of optimal biometric and identity management solutions across the law enforcement and national security communities.
2009 Media & Tech Priorities -- A Public Interest Agenda
Monday December 22 2008, 3:48 PM
Free Press Action Fund -- [Obama’s FCC should act quickly to adopt rules preserving Net Neutrality that mirror the legislative effort. These rules should pertain to all wired and wireless networks and should enshrine the FCC’s established four openness principles alongside a necessary fifth principle that prohibits discrimination and pay-for-priority tolls. The FCC should establish an expedited complaint process for violations of the rules and stiff penalties for violators. Finally, the FCC should move to require extensive disclosure of Internet providers’ network management techniques as well as specific information about the quality of the Internet service being purchased by consumers.]
CYBER ANALYSIS AND WARNING - DHS Faces Challenges in Establishing a Comprehensive National Capability
Tuesday September 23 2008, 10:15 AM
GAO 08-588: We recommend that the Secretary of Homeland Security take four actions to fully establish a national cyber analysis and warning capability. Specifically, the Secretary should address deficiencies in each of the attributes identified for Recommendations for Executive Action • monitoring, including establish a comprehensive baseline understanding of the nation’s critical information infrastructure and engage appropriate nonfederal stakeholders to support a national-level cyber monitoring capability; • analysis, including expanding its capabilities to investigate incidents; • warning, including ensuring consistent notifications that are targeted, actionable, and timely; and • response, including ensuring that US-CERT provides assistance in the mitigation of and recovery from simultaneous severe incidents, including incidents of national significance. We also recommend that the Secretary address the challenges that impede DHS from fully implementing the key attributes, including the following 6 items: • engaging appropriate stakeholders in federal and nonfederal entities to determine ways to develop closer working and more trusted relationships; • expeditiously hiring sufficiently trained cyber analysts and developing strategies for hiring and retaining highly qualified cyber analysts; • identifying and acquiring technological tools to strengthen cyber analytical capabilities and handling the steadily increasing workload; developing predictive analysis capabilities by defining terminology, methodologies, and indicators, and engaging appropriate stakeholders in other federal and nonfederal entities; • filling key management positions and developing strategies for hiring and retaining those officials; and • ensuring that there are distinct and transparent lines of authority and responsibility assigned to DHS organizations with cybersecurity roles and responsibilities, including the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications and the National Cybersecurity Center.
General Information Technology Access Account Records System (GITAARS) DHS/ALL-004, May 15, 2008, 73 FR 28139
Tuesday June 03 2008, 12:51 PM
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Homeland Security is giving notice that it proposes to update a system of records in its inventory. The Department of Homeland Security is updating the General Information Technology Access Account Records System system of records notice to include four new routine uses and to add to the categories of records covered by the system. The first new routine use will allow for information sharing with federal agencies such as the Office of Personnel Management, the Merit Systems Protection Board, Office of Management and Budget, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Government Accountability Office, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when information is requested in the performance of those agencies' official duties. The second routine use will allow for the routine sharing of business information outside of the Department for official purposes. This includes the sharing of business contact information to contacts outside of the Department. The third routine use allows for sharing for the purpose of investigating an alleged or proven act of identity fraud or theft. The fourth routine use allows sharing of information to regulatory and oversight bodies, including auditors, who are responsible for ensuring appropriate use of government resources.
Student information found in recycle bin
Thursday August 30 2007, 12:57 PM
Comptroller says employee in Greece ran NY schools' computers
Thursday August 30 2007, 10:27 AM
AP reports, "The audit said the computer maintenance contracts were never approved by the school board and had not been put out to bid as required. In response, the board's president, Amy Levere, said that some board officials were aware of the arrangement at the time, even if they had not formally approved it, and that there were good reasons to hire the employee, including his experience and familiarity with the computer system."
Tech Privacy Issues Remain Confounding
Saturday August 25 2007, 11:31 AM
AP reports, "Ponemon said multiple surveys have shown that roughly 10 percent of consumers will change their behavior in order to improve their privacy online. Nearly 70 percent say they're sensitive to the subject but won't alter what they do. The rest pretty much don't care."
Department Of Defense Awards $2.1 M Grant To Stony Brook’s Computer Science Department
Friday August 24 2007, 4:20 PM
The project will develop languages, techniques and tools for managing, enforcing, and maintaining trust relationships in systems with service-oriented architectures. The techniques will be implemented as stand-alone tools and integrated into a prototype system that will be an experimental test-bed for evaluation of the techniques. The framework will accommodate services that interact across a variety of interfaces, including network communication channels, shared memory, and shared databases. Therefore, it will apply to many legacy systems as well as explicitly service-oriented systems such as Web services. The project will focus on issues of trust management, information flow tracking, trust analysis and assurance, and policy enforcement.
Creating Critical Linkages between Education and Other Vital Services to Improve Child Welfare
Tuesday August 21 2007, 6:59 PM
Tuesday, September 18, 11 am-1 pm (EDT) **Join us in person or via an interactive webcast** As part of the Data Quality Campaign's goal to provide a national forum for conversations about the power of longitudinal data, this Quarterly Issue Meeting will focus on states and communities that are building bridges between longitudinal education data systems and other public systems that track child outcomes, including not only a student's academic performance but also the child's overall quality of being. Featured presenters will include: Jay Pfeiffer, Florida Department of Education; Michelle Lustig, San Diego County Office of Education; Amanda Singer, Utah Department of Human Services.
Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware
Monday August 20 2007, 2:32 PM
What is spyware? Despite its name, the term "spyware" doesn't refer to something used by undercover operatives, but rather by the advertising industry. In fact, spyware is also known as "adware." It refers to a category of software that, when installed on your computer, may send you pop-up ads, redirect your browser to certain web sites, or monitor the web sites that you visit. Some extreme, invasive versions of spyware may track exactly what keys you type. Attackers may also use spyware for malicious purposes. Because of the extra processing, spyware may cause your computer to become slow or sluggish. There are also privacy implications: What information is being gathered? Who is receiving it? How is it being used?
State to select a new historian
Monday August 20 2007, 9:30 AM
Times Union reports, "The new hire will chair the 12-member history department at the State Museum and help market its assets. The state historian will also oversee curatorial services, including managing $20 million in planned upgrades to the State Museum's exhibits, according to John P. Hart, director of the research and collections division at the State Museum. The job will include a key role in planning and construction of a $100 million storage facility to house the State Museum's collections."
LI colleges fight terror
Thursday August 02 2007, 9:03 PM
Newsday opines, "Stony Brook University has received a $2.1 million grant from the Department of Defense to research ways to help plug this yawning gap in the security of computer systems. The grant, one of only four awarded nationally by the Pentagon in the cyber-security field, will fund a five-year project to develop solutions to help computer users prevent their systems from being corrupted or infiltrated. And Long Island University's Homeland Security Management Institute has been chosen as one of six universities across the nation to share in an annual $18 million program over the next four years to improve railroad security. "
The Records Manager
Tuesday July 31 2007, 12:58 PM
The Records Manager, vol. 1 no. 3, Summer 2007. The Records Manager is the new newsletter of the SAA Records Management Roundtable.
United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)
Tuesday June 26 2007, 3:22 PM
Established in 2003 to protect the nation's Internet infrastructure, US-CERT coordinates defense against and responses to cyber attacks across the nation.
Cameras May Watch You Take Tests Online
Tuesday June 19 2007, 4:13 PM
AP reports, "New technology will place cameras inside students' homes to ensure that those taking exams online don't cheat."
Truants dent Texas wallet
Tuesday June 12 2007, 9:11 AM
Galveston Daily News reports, "Truant students will cost Galveston public school district thousands of dollars in state money this year, a Region IV consultant told trustees last week. School districts receive funding based on average daily attendance. Records show that Galveston Independent School District’s absenteeism rate was so high in 2006-07 that, on average, each student missed 9.9 days during the year, said Jim Vinson, who conducted an audit on the district’s public education information management system (PEIMS) reports."
A Blueprint for Handling Sensitive Data: Security, Privacy, and Other Considerations (ID: ESEM071)
Monday May 14 2007, 1:35 PM
Link to powerpoint presentation by H. Morrow Long and Krizi Trivisani -- Information security risks at colleges and universities present challenging legal, policy, technical, and operational issues. According to a recent study by the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR), security incidents have resulted in compromises of personal information which have led to bad publicity and the potential for identity theft. Among the steps to protect sensitive data include an information security risk management program, data classification policies, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, awareness programs, and technology solutions among other interventions. This seminar presentation outlines a blueprint for protecting sensitive data according to the EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Security Task Force.
Rochester city schools will falter if leaders get faulty data on pupil progress
Wednesday May 02 2007, 9:07 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle guest essayist Cynthia Elliott, Rochester Board of Education member opines, "There is no doubt in my mind that people genuinely want to help our children succeed. But that involvement will be ineffective and our goal of 100 percent graduation rates will not be realized if we don't have accurate information. Only with accurate information can we even begin to entertain the strategies to achieve academic excellence."
Districts await correction on graduation data
Friday April 27 2007, 8:14 AM
Times Union reports, "'You can actually see why these things happen because it's a very complicated process,' said Jim Baldwin, superintendent at the Questar III BOCES, which helps school districts interpret the reams of data they must collect."
School districts advised to protect computer data
Sunday April 22 2007, 9:43 AM
Times Herald-Record reports, "Threats to computer data pose a major challenge to school district financial controls, according to a top state official."
Paterson New Jersey schools may be monitored
Saturday December 30 2006, 8:19 AM
NorthJersey.com reports, "Other findings in the audit include incomplete or outdated personnel and special education student files, missing receipts in student activity money and a need for enhanced computer technology security measures."
Facing $3M in penalties, New Jersey schools send student data
Wednesday December 20 2006, 5:27 PM
Independent Press reports, "The student information, which is required from all school districts, will allow the state to assign each student an identification number to track the academic performance of individual students as they progress through the public school system. In the past, the state could track only the performance of groups of children, and could compare only how different classes of children performed as they took the same standardized tests at each grade level. The data required by the state ranges from routine directory information, such as a student's name, gender, grade level and school assignment, to more sensitive information such as ethnicity, place of birth, special education requirements and any disciplinary history. Additional information requested on a voluntary basis includes each student's insurance provider and date of last medical exam."
New Jersey student database raises concerns
Thursday December 14 2006, 8:57 AM
The Reporter writes, "'It is quite clear that New Jersey has not built in any legal safeguards for the data,' [Joel Reidenberg, professor of law and director of the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham University] he said, noting that under current federal law, schools must preserve their students' privacy in certain ways, including a date for deletion, or risk losing their federal funding. There is no information about how long the state will keep the data. 'That means it becomes a statewide adult database as soon as the kids turn 18,' he said. The state has also said that third parties can view the data with permission, but not about what third parties those will be, he said, speculating that one of them will be the state Department of Health and Senior Services, given the health questions in the voluntary data set. One organization has already received federal funding to study the information in data warehouses similar to New Jersey's database, he said."
What do you think of New York City Department of Education's school cell phone plan?
Thursday December 14 2006, 7:54 AM
NY1 Snap Poll: What do you think of the Department of Education's school cell phone plan? VOTE HERE!
UCLA Probes Computer Security Breach
Tuesday December 12 2006, 11:01 AM
AP reports, "The University of California, Los Angeles alerted about 800,000 current and former students, faculty and staff on Tuesday that their names and certain personal information were exposed after a hacker broke into a campus computer system. It was one of the largest such breaches involving a U.S. higher education institution."
Additional data helps student tracking system
Monday December 11 2006, 8:58 AM
Gloucester County Times (New Jersey) reports, "The purpose of the information, [Education Commissioner] Davy stated in the letter, is to create a unique student identification number that will be used for tracking progress of students. H. Mark Stanwood, Gloucester County superintendent of schools, said the tracking of students will benefit all districts, particularly ones with high student mobility. 'The primary benefit is so we can track student performance even as they change school districts,' Stanwood said. 'Right now we don't have an effective or efficient way to do that.'" 'Some parents feel uneasy giving all that information to the school district,' Borelli said."
Nassau Community College to pay for credit monitoring
Thursday December 07 2006, 4:59 AM
Newsday reports, "The trustees' action comes after the personal information of all of the college's 21,000-plus students, contained in a bound computer printout, was reported missing from a worker's desk Nov. 28. Nassau County police are investigating. Third Squad detectives 'have begun interviewing' college employees, said Det. Lt. Raymond Cote."
Personal info disappears from Nassau Community College
Tuesday December 05 2006, 2:18 PM
Newsday reports, "The list contained students' names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, and phone numbers, said Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a Nassau County Police spokesman. He said the college informed the police Nov. 28 about the missing computer list. The incident is being investigated by the Third Squad, Repalone said. Tuggle said the college also notified the Long Island offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security. Representatives of those agencies could not be immediately reached."
Confidential ACS files found dumped on street
Monday November 20 2006, 7:41 AM
NY Daily News reports, "More than 200 case files filled with confidential information about the city's most at-risk children were dumped on a Manhattan streetcorner, the Daily News has found."
Elmira College offers new master's program
Saturday November 11 2006, 7:56 AM
Star-Gazette reports, "Elmira College will offer a new master's degree program in January that school officials hope will prepare the local work force for the future. Four areas of concentration -- in general management, information technology management, health services management and emergency-disaster preparedness management -- will be offered during the winter term that starts Jan. 8."
From the Desk of Jean C. Stevens, Interim Deputy Commissioner, New York State Education Department
Friday November 10 2006, 8:08 AM
ELA and Mathematics Results on the New York State Testing and Accountability Reporting Tool (nySTART): Beginning November 14, authorized users in schools and districts will be able to access parent reports for the grades 3-8 State assessments in mathematics using nySTART. Beginning November 13, files containing the mathematics parent reports will be distributed to Regional Information Centers and the Big 5 school districts. If your district has contracted with a Regional Information Center or BOCES to print the reports, please contact them for information about the printing and distribution schedule. Information about interpreting student scores, particularly the standard performance indices, is available at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/nystart/2006/InterpretingStudentScores_files/frame.htm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Accountability Verification: On November 14, school districts and charter schools will have access to two sets of reports allowing them to verify student data that will be used to determine each district’s and school’s accountability status at the elementary and middle levels for the 2006-07 school year. Each school superintendent, school principal, and staff member with account administrator privileges can access these reports through nySTART, using their personal UserIDs and passwords. The deadline for submitting data changes to your district’s Regional Information Center or Level 1 Repository operator is November 20. More information about the verification process is available at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/nystart/. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Essential Elements Schools to Watch: New York State is one of 14 states that has joined Schools to Watch, a national recognition program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. In New York, seven schools were selected for the 2006 group of Schools to Watch by distinguishing themselves in academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organization and structure. A list of the schools is available at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/mle/news/schools2watch.htm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reminder of Annual AHERA Notifications to Employees and Parents: The federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires all schools to provide public notification regarding inspections and other activities related to asbestos. Schools must also make its asbestos management plan available for public inspection. For more information, go to http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/facplan/AHERA/aheranotifyreminder.htm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VESID Update: National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) and National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC): Guidance regarding NIMAS and NIMAC, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is now available at http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/persprep/nimas.htm. NIMAC is designed to streamline access to instructional materials that meet the NIMAS standard for students who are blind or have other print disabilities. Please review and share as appropriate; a response is needed no later than November 30, 2006. Provision of Special Education Services to Parentally Placed Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary School Students with Disabilities: This memorandum, available at http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/ nonpublic.htm, informs school districts of their responsibilities to provide special education services to parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities for the 2006-07 school year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous News and Notes: 10/27/06 10/20/06 10/6/06 11/09/2006
Air Force grants Binghamton U professor $300K
Thursday November 02 2006, 6:21 AM
Press & Sun-Bulletin reports, "Craver [professor] plans to use the Air Force funding to develop an automated process to break digital watermarks, in which information is secretly embedded in a file. Watermarks can be used to provide proof of ownership or as copy protection devices. Craver's research will be relevant to any security system that relies on a detection algorithm, including face-recognition and thumbprint recognition systems, university officials said."
Group of University Researchers to Make Web Science a Field of Study
Thursday November 02 2006, 3:31 AM
NY Times reports, "Web science is related to another emerging interdisciplinary field called services science. This is the study of how to use computing, collaborative networks and knowledge in disciplines ranging from economics to anthropology to lift productivity and develop new products in the services sector, which represents about three-fourths of the United States economy."
Research says Texas incorrectly reports dropouts
Monday October 23 2006, 8:18 AM
Terrell Tribune reports, "Lawson [director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University] emphasized that while Texas has the most accurate system of reporting dropout rates, there is a problem with the quality of the data. 'Texas is a leader as far as reporting,' Lawson said. 'They have the most accurate system in recent years because they identify the student individually and have the capacity to track them, theirs is a the 'gold standard.' Unfortunately, because of the way they manipulate the data, it turns into fool's gold.' Lawson said the problem is that Texas inflates its graduation reports. In the construction of the report, many students go unaccounted for."
Group wants e-mail records:Mason schools says destroying them OK
Wednesday October 04 2006, 6:37 PM
Cincinnati.com reports, "In the latest dispute between a tax-accountability group and Mason's [Ohio] school district, Mason Citizens for Accountability and Results in Education says the Mason City School District is trying to destroy e-mail records before the group can obtain copies. But district officials say according to their records retention policy e-mails can be destroyed as they are read and that the group's latest lengthy records request is too general to fulfill."
October 18, 2006 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Day in New York State
Saturday September 30 2006, 2:38 AM
New York State Education Department Press Release: "WHEREAS, The position of a school bus driver requires tremendous responsibility; they have to maneuver through traffic regardless of road conditions while maintaining the conduct of the children on the bus and are looked upon for leadership and life-saving decision-making in the event of an emergency; and WHEREAS, School bus drivers delicately direct these children while they are exiting the bus at their destination; when an adult is normally at a bus stop to meet a child and is not present, they will keep that child in their safe care until adult supervision is located or the child can be returned to school; and WHEREAS, Furthermore, school bus drivers may also be an important aid in the fight against terrorism; they are able to observe any suspicious activity or people along their bus route and communicate that information to the proper authorities;"
Is Your Child’s School Effective? Don’t rely on NCLB to tell you
Friday September 29 2006, 8:10 AM
Hoover Institute Education Next writes, "It must also be admitted that most states could not have used growth scores when NCLB was enacted, simply because most states had not constructed the tracking system Florida has put together. Congress may have done all that it could in 2002. But since other states are now beginning to build their own warehouses of data that follow the progress of individual students, the time has arrived when a legislative fix should be feasible." Paul E. Peterson, professor of government at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and Martin R.West, assistant professor at Brown University both serve as editors of Education Next.
Higher Ed Panel Calls for College Database
Wednesday September 27 2006, 8:49 AM
NPR reports, "The panel says students and parents would benefit from a common database that explains what different schools offer."
Data Proposals Threaten Education and Civil Rights Accountability
Wednesday September 27 2006, 8:14 AM
The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University concludes, "Data tracing trends over time is, of course, a central requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act, essential for judging compliance with various civil rights court orders, and required by the special education law. In some states, the change will make it appear that individual racial groups suddenly are performing substantially better or worse on some achievement tests even when nothing has changed about actual test results. One must not confuse the increases and losses in proficiency levels with actual achievement. In fact, policymakers would do well to be wary that the proposed guidelines do not result in unfair and arbitrary sanctions on schools and districts since the changes do not reflect actual improvements or losses in achievement levels."Lee, C. and Orfield, G. (2006). Data Proposals Threaten Education and Civil Rights Accountability. Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.
College overhaul called ‘overdue'
Wednesday September 27 2006, 7:07 AM
USA TODAY Mary Beth Marklein reports, "Proponents of a database that tracks students, including the State Higher Education Executive Officers, say federal data on graduation rates gives an inaccurate picture because it doesn't account for transfers to other schools. And though many schools keep their own records, they don't necessarily make the data public. About 35 states have systems in place, but they operate as 'islands unto themselves,' Spellings said. Spellings said her plan would make information available to parents, policymakers and others in an easy-to-understand format. Data could include students' majors, costs after student aid and how quickly they graduate. To protect privacy, the commission recommended that the database use anonymous identification numbers, not Social Security numbers."
Data is driving education now
Thursday September 21 2006, 8:25 AM
South Idaho Press contributor Mike Chesley, superintendent of the Cassia Joint School District (Idaho) writes, "Across America, educators, parents and students are swimming in data. Over the past decade, education based on academic standards has become the norm. This has fueled the push for data to show how students are doing and to guide efforts to improve. The trend has only grown since the early 2002 signing of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, mandating all students in public schools (Cassia School District #151 included) be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Guess what? It is a good thing."
College notifying applicants of "misplaced" data
Wednesday September 20 2006, 5:16 PM
AP reports, "Officials at Berry College say personal information on more than 2,000 students who applied for financial aid was 'misplaced' by a consultant, creating a possible security breach. In a statement posted Wednesday on Berry's Web site, President Stephen R. Briggs said college officials were notified late Monday afternoon that information from federal student aid forms collected during the 2005-06 academic year had been misplaced by a financial aid consultant. The data included names, Social Security numbers and reported incomes related to 2,093 people who submitted a federal aid application to Berry, a private college in northwest Georgia. Of those, 1,322 are currently enrolled at Berry, Brigg said."
New York Education Department unveils new student database
Friday September 08 2006, 6:58 AM
Times Record reports, "Teachers are all for the new system if it is used to help students learn, said Ron Simon, president of the New Paltz Teachers union. But he has concerns. 'Are we using it to hold students accountable for their learning, or are we using it to pinpoint teachers?' Simon asked. 'We would hate to see this one day being used to promote things like merit pay'."
Web site draws pleas to revamp New Jersey school funding
Monday September 04 2006, 10:55 AM
Courier News reports, "Lawmakers [New Jersey] created a Web site to solicit suggestions on how the state can ease the property tax burden. The site has received more than 1,000 suggestions since it was created Aug. 14. A common theme from the suggestion box: New Jersey residents are tired of paying high property taxes to fund public schools."
Financial aid records of college students examined in terrorist search
Thursday August 31 2006, 6:52 PM
USA Today Greg Toppo writes, "Project Strike Back is virtually unknown within the higher education community, even among top financial aid and admissions officials. The program was mentioned in a September 2002 Education Department report to Congress, noting that it had been initiated. And a May 2004 Government Accountability Office report on data mining noted that the program compares Department of Education and FBI data 'for anomalies. Also verifies personal identifiers.'"
Audit finds sensitive data vulnerable at Arizona education agency
Monday August 28 2006, 8:20 PM
AP reports on the vulnerable systems, "The systems are used for a variety of purposes, ranging from teacher certification to tracking student attendance that is used to allocate state funding to school districts and charter schools. Confidential information kept on the department's computer systems include teachers' names, birth dates and Social Security numbers and students' names and birth dates, the audit report noted. Many of the security flaws have been noted previously but the audit found that only some of them had been fixed, the department said."
Education Department working to fix web site glitch after data breach
Wednesday August 23 2006, 9:54 PM
AP reports, "The Web site program includes names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers and in some cases account information for holders of federal direct student loans. It does not involve those who have loans managed through private companies."
Researchers Yearn to Use AOL Logs, but They Hesitate
Wednesday August 23 2006, 10:18 AM
NY Times reports, "Companies occasionally mete data out to academic researchers. Microsoft has done this, but in a controlled fashion. Yahoo shares some statistical data with researchers who are approved case by case through an internal vetting program, according to Joanna Stevens, a company spokeswoman, but query data, she said, has never been distributed."
Glitch reveals too much on Education Dept. website
Wednesday August 23 2006, 8:39 AM
Boston Globe reports, "A federal Department of Education official said yesterday that a routine software upgrade made Sunday night introduced a bug into the system that mixed up the data of different borrowers."
California student tracking system receives a failing grade: Millions spent, yet state can't calculate dropouts
Monday August 21 2006, 5:20 PM
Union Tribune reports, "California has fallen far behind other large states with sophisticated student tracking systems, such as Texas and Florida, and cannot accurately calculate a basic fact about school performance: the dropout rate."
Arizona State Education computer system is exposed for attacks
Friday August 18 2006, 8:58 PM
The Daily Dispatch reports on Arizona Auditor General's Office findings, "The report, being released today, noted that the agency makes many of its applications accessible via the Internet so that schools can report information and access data. Auditor General Debbie Davenport said her staffers found that private information, like teacher names, birth dates and social security numbers 'could be viewed by individuals who have no right or need to access it.'''
Elmira school board to get laptops
Wednesday August 16 2006, 8:48 AM
Star-Gazette reports, "Most information will now be e-mailed to board members or posted on a Web page protected with a password, according to the district. Each board member will have an e-mail account to allow them to communicate with district employees, parents and community members."
The State Education Department and the State Health Department memo and information pamphlet to underscore the potential magnitude of a pandemic on the education community and emphasize the need for preparedness
Tuesday August 15 2006, 7:21 PM
In a severe pandemic, all employers—including schools —will experience a dramatic reduction in their workforce, as one-in-four employees becomes ill and others remain home to care for sick family members. Many schools may close because of excessive student and staff absenteeism. Available evidence indicates that school closure (perhaps as long as 12 weeks in duration) early in a pandemic may significantly reduce influenza transmission. Health officials will notify school authorities when conditions warrant school closure. In certain instances, school facilities may be asked to function as Points of Dispensing (PODs) for essential medications. We strongly encourage you to work closely with your county/city health department and emergency management officials to increase your district’s pandemic preparedness in the upcoming school year. To assist you in your planning process, we have prepared a pandemic information packet specifically designed for the education community.
Implementing Graduation Counts: State Progress to Date
Sunday August 13 2006, 9:52 PM
NGA Issue Brief written by Bridget Curran, Education Division, National Governors Association. (08/07/2006). "In 2005 governors of all 50 states signed the Graduation Counts Compact and made an unprecedented commitment to a common method for calculating each state's high school graduation rate. In addition to agreeing to a common formula for calculating the graduation rate, the governors committed to leading efforts to improve state data collection, reporting, and analysis; reporting additional indicators of outcomes for students; and reporting annually on their progress toward improved high school graduation, completion, and dropout data."
Niagara County Community College launches high-tech upgrade
Sunday August 06 2006, 4:28 PM
Buffalo News reports, "College technicians will be able to upgrade software in any of the school's 1,000 desktop computers, and discover a software problem on any one of them and fix it without leaving their laboratory. They also will be able to plug security holes in the school's Windows computer operating system to prevent hackers from accessing it."
Kentucky schools and afterschool programs share student database
Saturday August 05 2006, 11:21 PM
AP reports, "The Louisville project has caught the attention of educators in other states. It may turn into a national model of how schools can work with community groups, particularly as afterschools take on a greater role in helping students read and do math."
Illinois community college, state spar in court
Saturday August 05 2006, 1:20 PM
Pentagraph.com reports, "In November, the executive inspector general began investigating the community college. By March, the office issued subpoenas to the college's auditing firm, Kerber, Eck and Braeckel LLP, as well as the institution's board of trustees to produce audio and/or video recordings of most executive sessions held since May 2004. A recording of a November 2004 closed session was destroyed."
A new high-tech take on school group project
Friday August 04 2006, 9:34 AM
Boston Globe reports, "The technology is most commonly associated with Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia written and edited by the public with nearly 2 million registered users . But it has broader uses, and educators are experimenting with wiki textbooks, wiki lesson plans that teachers share, and projects in which students develop wikis as they would write papers."
The new learning curve: Technological security
Wednesday August 02 2006, 8:51 AM
USA Today reports, "Raising awareness among computer users about privacy protection is a never-ending job, especially on college campuses where the student population changes each year."
Why break in? The reasons vary
Wednesday August 02 2006, 8:41 AM
USA Today reports, "A USA TODAY review of 109 computer-related security breaches reported by 76 college campuses since January 2005 found that about 70% involved hacking — breaking into or gaining unauthorized access to a computer system."
DC public schools auditors fault special-ed data
Wednesday July 19 2006, 9:17 PM
THE WASHINGTON TIMES reports, "Auditors had sought to determine whether foster children were getting the required amount of special education during the 2004-05 school year. They concluded that shoddy record keeping by the CFSA and the school system made the task nearly impossible."
Teachers use data to tailor education
Monday July 17 2006, 8:00 AM
The Arizona Republic reports, "The Arizona Department of Education is not allowed to collect student data beyond what state and federal law requires. Student grades, discipline records and the names of teachers who taught them are among the things that cannot be legally tracked."
North Carolina State University adds groundbreaking Data Analytics Education
Friday July 14 2006, 9:26 AM
CRM Today reports, "The tools, concepts and practices of analytics hold the key to understanding massive amounts of data and then using this knowledge to make sound decisions. Whether it is uncovering fraud in banking transactions, improving the quality of healthcare received by patients or predicting which customers will respond to a marketing campaign, the applications of data analytics cross all industries. As such, the ability to strategically apply analytics transcends industry, making experts in the field in high demand."
Buffalo Dissolves Informatics School, Returns LIS to Education
Saturday July 08 2006, 8:34 AM
ALA reports, "The State University of New York’s University at Buffalo announced June 16 that it was dissolving its School of Informatics, with its two components—the Department of Library and Information Studies and the Department of Communication—moving back to their former homes in the Graduate School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences, respectively."
Women Underestimate Their Web Savvy
Sunday July 02 2006, 7:03 PM
Read referenced study on Education New York Online EDUCATION POLICY page, GENDER folder.
MyYearbook.com goes online with high school keepsake
Sunday July 02 2006, 8:28 AM
Closing U at Buffalo School of Informatics is a terrible mistake
Saturday July 01 2006, 7:05 PM
Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education
Thursday June 29 2006, 10:59 AM
This NCES guide provides recommendations for collecting accurate, comparable, and useful data about virtual education in an elementary/secondary education setting.
Friday June 23 2006, 8:15 AM
Brewster Kahle's modest mission: Archiving everything
Friday June 23 2006, 8:09 AM
Computer crash lesson for college
Thursday June 15 2006, 6:15 PM
States Struggle to Computerize School Records (NY Times registration)
Monday May 15 2006, 7:13 AM
Tuesday April 25 2006, 9:20 AM
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