Posts by Amelia Vance


New US Dept of Ed Finding: Schools Cannot Require Parents or Students to Waive Their FERPA Rights Through Ed Tech Company’s Terms of Service

Policymakers, parents, and privacy advocates have long asked whether FERPA is up to the task of protecting student privacy in the 21st century. A just-released letter regarding the Agora Cyber Charter School might signal that a FERPA compliance crack-down – frequently mentioned as their next step after providing extensive guidance by the U.S. Department of Education (USED) employees at conferences throughout 2017 – has begun. The Agora letter provides crucial guidance to schools and ed tech companies about how USED interprets FERPA’s requirements regarding parental consent and ed tech products’ terms of service, and it may predict USED’s enforcement priorities going forward.


DQC Report: Effective Data Use and Research Partnerships between SEAs and Education Researchers

Today, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) released a new infographic and resource on education research, Roadmap for Effective Data Use and Research Partnerships between State Education Agencies and Education Researchers. DQC brought together education researchers and policy experts, including FPF’s Education Policy Counsel Amelia Vance, to create these new resources.


Bipartisan Report: Feds Should Connect Student Data While Protecting Privacy

Today, the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking released their final report. The Commission was created through bi-partisan legislation in 2016 to “consider how to strengthen government’s evidence-building and policymaking efforts” (page 16). One of the key issues that the Commission heard from advocates on all sides about whether to overturn the current federal ban on connecting education data collected by the federal government in order to provide students, postsecondary institutions, and the public with information that could be used to improve policies or better target federal funding.