Welcome back to a new school year. I have some good news and not-so-good news to report.
- After a two year delay, the NYS Education Department finally appointed a Chief Privacy Officer, as required by the student privacy law passed in March 2014. This is the law that also banned inBloom. Here is our press release written with NYSAPE, hailing this long-overdue event; here are some news stories about it.
Soon, I will be asking for your help in urging the new CPO to develop a strengthened Parents Bill of Rights, with enhanced protections for data privacy and security, as the law requires. I’m happy to report that we also managed to convince NYSED officials to reverse their decision to put the personal student data collected so far into the state archives, where it would sit for at least 100 years, with unclear limits on who could access it and for what purposes.
- One of the rights parents have under the federal law known as FERPA is to opt out their children’s Directory Information from being provided to third parties, usually within about thirty days from the beginning of the school year. Our Parent Coalition for Student Privacy explains what Directory Information is here and why you may want to opt out. We also provide a sample Directory opt-out form you can fill out and submit to your school (here as a Word doc or here as pdf). In NYC, DOE provides student names and addresses to mailing houses which then are hired by charter schools for recruiting purposes. Our opt out form includes the option of denying your child’s information to charter schools, among other choices.
- Sadly, this fall our schools are likely more overcrowded than ever, especially in NYC, and our class sizes will remain far above where they should be. Please fill out our five minute survey to let us know what your child’s class size is currently. This is important information for us to know and we will keep your name confidential unless you indicate otherwise. Here are the UFT contractual limits which haven’t been lowered in fifty years.
- Important primaries are being held tomorrow in many districts for the State Legislature. Please educate yourself on the candidates and then vote! For better or for worse, our children’s opportunities are constrained in many ways by what happens in Albany. Your vote is important.
Thanks as ever for your support,
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011
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