The Chicago Public Schools are preparing for compliance with the changes to IL's Student Online Protection Act, passed in spring 2019 and going into effect on July 1, 2021. As the largest district in IL, CPS's policy will have important implications for the rest of IL's public schools.
After feedback on their initial policy draft from IL-FPS back in November and some ensuing discussions with us, the policy on the agenda for the Chicago BoE's January meeting has improved---and we're especially pleased to see it will mean students themselves can no longer be required to sign contracts with vendors anymore.Read more
January 28th is Data Privacy Day, an international annual day of awareness to promote protection of our personal data.
But, even as it stands now, vendors cannot legally sell, rent or lease student data they collect in Illinois' schools.Read more
The College Board, the maker of SAT, PSAT and Advanced Placement tests, is selling data they collect from students in IL public high schools. These sales violate multiple state laws, and they need to stop.
Last fall we helped parents file complaints with the IL Attorney General's office and coordinated a letter from nine state lawmakers to the AG urging him to investigate. In response, the AG's office confirmed they're looking into the College Board's data sales.
Then in December, Chicago law firm Loevy & Loevy filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of an Illinois family, suing the College Board for these sales.
Now we're asking the General Assembly to hold a subject-matter hearing on the College Board's business practices and state contracts. It’s simply not acceptable for a vendor with millions of dollars in state contracts and access to our children’s highly-sensitive data to illegally exploit that access.
What can you do?
Use (and share!) this link to send a note to your state senator & your state rep to ask for a hearing. State legislators should demand answers directly from the College Board about how they use their standardized testing contracts to profit off of Illinois' students' data. And they need to ask the IL State Board of Education why they are allowing these sales to happen under their watch.
You can hear more about what the College Board is doing and the class action lawsuit on this episode of the radio show/podcast of Talk Out of School in an interview with IL Families for Public Schools’ director Cassie Creswell and Loevy and Loevy lawyer Scott Drury.
The national advocacy group Parent Coalition for Student Privacy has resources to assist parents of students taking a College Board (or ACT, Inc.) test in protecting their children's personal data.
The Illinois State Board of Education held four meetings this fall around the state to gather input on its budget for fiscal year 2021. You can see the budget for FY2020 as enacted here. Below you can read the testimony we submitted about our concerns about the funds to be appropriated for assessments to two test vendors, Pearson and the College Board.
In this issue:
- College Board’s data sales — Ask your legislators for a subject matter hearing;
- FTC looking at changing privacy rules for schools — Submit comments;
- President Cullerton retiring — One of the biggest obstacles in the ongoing fight for an elected board for Chicago is stepping down in January;
- Quick links — What’s in the new contract for Chicago teachers; ISBE budget hearing & board meeting; delay on effective date for new law on IEP paperwork.
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The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently posted a new parental consent form for the Student Search Service survey. This is an optional questionnaire that's administered along with SAT, PSAT and Advanced Placement exams sold by the College Board.
The new consent form is inadequate in several ways, and we sent State Superintendent Carmen Ayala a letter asking ISBE to address our concerns.Read more
Ahead of next week’s administration of the PSAT exam in schools around the state, nine Illinois state legislators are asking Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul to investigate the business practices of a major state vendor, the College Board, the standardized test maker that sells the SAT, PSAT and Advanced Placement exams.Read more