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FERPA for Teachers

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Andrea Barrett

on 1 June 2014

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Transcript of FERPA for Teachers

FERPA for Teachers - An FAQ
What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that applies to public schools receiving federal funding.

This law guarantees parents of students certain rights pertaining to the confidentiality and fairness regarding the maintenance and use of student records.

Public schools will develop policies and procedures regarding the types and location of educational records and the maintenance of the records.
What education records are protected by FERPA?
All files, documents and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and make that student personally identifiable are considered confidential.

These records may include (but not limited to) transcripts, grade reports, Social Security numbers, special education and student assistance reports and student identification numbers.
What are specific parental rights?
Parents have the right to inspect their child's education records.

Parents have the right to challenge and seek ammendment to their child's education records if they are believed to be inaccurate, inappropriate or misleading.

Parents have the right to file a complaint with the district's director of student records concerning an alleged failure by the school to comply with FERPA.

Parents must consent to disclosure of their child's educational records in writing.

Parents must be notified of their privacy rights.
How does this affect a teacher?
Teachers, counselors and administrators have access to confidential information for legitimate educational purposes. Written documentation of the access should be kept by the institution.

Teachers may maintain personal notes about students for personal use. They still must keep them confidential.

The use of computerized record-keeping systems is increasing at a tremendous rate. Electronic data may eventually replace most paper documents. Appropriate policies must be established to protect the confidentiality of those records. The same principles of confidentiality must be applied to electronic data as apply to paper documents.
How does this affect a teacher (continued)?
As with any professional correspondence or work with students, educators must maintain confidentiality. Classroom information on a teacher's home page should always be generic in nature, such as class assignments as opposed to individually identified student information, such as student grades, work products or student pictures.

Making student information available on-line places it in the public domain. Student privacy should be adhered to in all communications. For example, full student names, identification numbers, grades, addresses, pictures and e-mail addresses cannot be subject to public scrutiny.

FERPA generally prohibits the improper disclosure of personally identifiable information derived from education records. Therefore, information that an official obtained through personal knowledge or observation, or has heard orally from others, is not protected under FERPA.
What student information can a teacher release?
FERPA protects the privacy of education records. As a staff member you have a responsibility to protect educational records in your possession. You may not disclose personally identifiable information about students or permit inspection of their records without written permission from the student, unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted by FERPA.

Public posting of grades by student name, social security number, student identification number, or any other identifiable means, without written consent from the student, violates FERPA law. Numeric student identifiers are considered personally identifiable information and are in violation of FERPA. Teacher assigned numbers or coding is allowed as long as the order of the posting is not alphabetical.

Graded papers, tests, and quizzes must be handed back properly and not left out on a desk for others to access easily. This could compromise the confidentiality of a student and violate FERPA law.
What are 5 ethical issues involving assessment?
What are 5 legal issues involving assessment?
Resources
How does FERPA relate to Assessment?
Team A
Staci Alexander
Catherine Arnona
Andrea Barrett
Melinda Kazlauskas
Donneka Slade

University of Phoenix
Assignment #5
May 28, 2014
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/ptac/pdf/slides.pdf

http://www.spannj.org/BridgeArchives/do_parents_have_a_right_under_th.htm

Forum Guide to The Privacy of Student Information: A Resource for Schools. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006805.pdf

Popham, W. J. (2011). Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know (6ht ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.


Student assessment information (including statewide and district assessment) is considered education records so it must be treated with confidentiality.

Assessments and protocols are protected education records under FERPA if they directly identify a student. Therefore, parents have a right to review the test protocol, the scoring rubric and his/her child’s responses to short answer and essay questions.

Test protocols are considered to be “education records” as defined by 34 C.F.R. 99.3 of the FERPA law.

1. School staff should be trained in FERPA, because there are serious repercussions for FERPA violations.

2. School districts are responsible for ensuring all parents and all students are afforded all rights according to FERPA.

3. If a school system discloses directory information, information that is generally not considered harmful such as name, date of birth or address, the school must give “public notice” of this policy and explain what is included in such information.

4. Local education agencies are required to give annual notification to parents and eligible students of their rights under FERPA.

5. Parents have a right to:
look at and review their child’s records
amend it if they believe there are inaccuracies in the record
choose to consent or not consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information
if a district does not comply with FERPA, they may file a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education


1. Professional Ethics - No test-preparation practice should violate the ethical norms of the education profession.

2. Educational Defensibility - No test-preparation practice should increase students’ test scores without simultaneously increasing students’ mastery of the curricular aim tested.

3. Five test-preparation variants:
Previous-form preparation provides special instruction and practice based directly on students’ use of a previous form of the actual test.
Current-form preparation provides special instruction and practice based directly on students’ use of the form of the test currently being employed.
Generalized test-taking preparation provides special instruction covering test-taking skills for dealing with a variety of achievement-test formats.
Same-format preparation provides regular classroom instruction dealing directly with the content covered on the test, but employs only practice items that embody the same format as items actually used on the test.
Varied-format preparation provides regular classroom instruction dealing directly with the content covered on the test, but employs practice items representing a variety of test-item formats.
What are 5 ethical issues involving assessment (con't)?
4. The only two practices satisfying both professional and educational defensibility guidelines are generalized test-taking preparation (if brief) and varied-format preparation.

5. Teachers should maintain all state test-security procedures when administering state standardized tests. Violations of the procedures in place can result in the retraction of credentials and/or employment termination.

(Popham, 2011)
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