Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna supported the Idaho State Board of Education’s action to further protect student identifiable data on Thursday, but he reiterated that further action by Governor Otter or the Idaho Legislature is necessary to ensure student-level data is kept safe now as well as in the future.
“I applaud the Idaho State Board of Education for taking steps today to help protect student-level data in the State of Idaho. I strongly support these efforts, which are in line with the letter I sent to Governor Otter and the leaders of the House and Senate Education Committees last week, but I recognize more can be done,” Superintendent Luna said. “Either through executive order or legislative action, we can put strong laws and policies in place that ensure student-level data is protected not just now, but also in the future.”
Read the text of Superintendent Luna’s letter from August 8.
As Superintendent Luna has traveled across Idaho attending community meetings and forums this year, he heard concerns from many parents and patrons regarding student data. Most believe data is secure today, but want to make sure it remains protected in the future. To address these concerns, Superintendent Luna submitted a letter on August 8 to Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and the Chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees calling for the state to examine a strong approach to ensuring all student-level data remains secure through executive order or legislation.
The Idaho State Board of Education manages the Idaho Data Management Council, which was established in 2011. The Council makes recommendations on the oversight and development of Idaho’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) and oversees the creation, maintenance and use of that system.
At its meeting in Pocatello today, the State Board of Education added to the current policy regarding data protection by stipulating that, “The privacy of all student level data that is collected by the SLDS will be protected. A list of all data fields (but not the data within the fields) collected by the SLDS will be publicly available. Only student identifiable data that is required by law will be shared with the federal government.” (Read the Board's news release in full online.)
Superintendent Luna voted yes on the motion, supporting this addition to Board policy.
Read more about the Idaho State Board of Education or its August meeting in Pocatello.