The plan -- sponsored in the House by Del.
The measure puts
The issue highlights the tension between efforts to integrate innovative technology -- cloud-based platforms provided by third-party vendors -- and public school officials' obligation to protect students' sensitive information.
Last week, the matter landed before the
A recent study conducted by the center found 95 percent of districts use cloud services for "functions including data mining related to student performance, support for classroom activities, student guidance, data hosting, as well as special services such as cafeteria payments and transportation planning." Three-quarters of schools, the report notes, didn't notify parents that they used cloud services.
That lack of communication, combined with loopholes in federal law and ambiguous, outdated or nonexistent state statutes, is triggering a public backlash, in both the marketplace and in legislatures. This spring, inBloom, a massive, online student data repository backed by
Around the same time,
"We have no short-term or long-term monetization goals with this educational product," Schrom said. Instead, the goal is to create "lifetime
But the company opposes state legislation, arguing that 50 different standards would burden it and other businesses.
After two hours of discussion, senators and delegates on the commission were no closer to an answer. Ambiguous language, undefined terms and the prospect of setting off a cascade of unintended consequences led the chairman, Del.
He wanted to hear from the secretary of education, the state school board's association, other school districts, maybe even the
Even if the commission members feel confident enough to make a recommendation, the underlying complications suggest it will be years before the legislature approves meaningful restrictions that balance lawmakers' desire to promote the marketplace and their responsibility to protect the public.
And if they do, that law almost certainly will be measured in pages rather than words.
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