As states pass new data laws for schools, policymakers should ensure these policies address transparency, privacy, security, collection, use and sharing. Most important, these systems should drive student learning and protect student and employee privacy. A new brief, Data Privacy and Security, from SREB’s Educational Technology Cooperative provides states with clear recommendations for education data policies. This brief is a useful overview on two education data topics — privacy and security.
Educators and policymakers often struggle to find the right balance between keeping data private and secure and making educational technology systems highly available for the latest innovations in teaching and learning. This policy brief reviews recent legislation related to data privacy and security and reports on security breaches at various organizations. It also provides policy recommendations that incorporate best practices in technology, transparent data governance and security risk mitigation, while maintaining accessible and functional systems.
The SREB Distance Learning Policy Laboratory assists states with distance learning projects and outreach to students. SREB also brings together states’ education agencies to share ideas and marketing activities through the Go Alliance.
A current focus is helping states respond to changes in federal regulations that require institutions with online programs to have approval in states where they enroll students. SREB is working closely with states to monitor changes and to promote reciprocal agreements, which have been in place since the creation of the Electronic Campus. SREB’s “free trade zone” will be a model for other regions as new regulations are enacted. Regional Reciprocity for Online Courses from SREB institutions in participating states. SREB’s Electronic Campus Regional Reciprocity Agreement (SECRRA) has been a model for other regions. Now, SREB-state institutions will be able to participate in a new, nationwide system of reciprocity, the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). When it is operational, SARA will allow participating institutions to be authorized by their home state and eliminate the need for individual approvals in all of the states where they serve online students. This will open more high-quality online offerings for students and ease regulatory burden on individual institutions. Additional information on SREB’s participation in the national State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) can be found on the SREB SARA page. Institutions can find participation information on the Electronic Campus Institutional Data Entry page.
The Board approved the establishment of a Distance Learning Policy Laboratory to support SREB’s technology initiatives by focusing on significant policy barriers in distance learning. The Policy Laboratory began its work in 1999 with support from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and the Stranahan Foundation.
A Leadership Group of nationally recognized leaders in higher education, a state partner’s network, and more than 100 administrators, faculty and distance learning experts launched the Policy Laboratory’s work with the publication of Seven detailed reports on key policy, with more than 70 recommendations to colleges and universities, states and SREB.
The Policy Laboratory focused on three overarching themes in distance learning:
The purpose of a TAV is to help school leaders and teachers take stock of where they are and where they want to go in school improvement. A TAV is not evaluative; rather, it represents efforts by the visiting team and the school to improve student learning