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Groups Urge Federal Commission to Reject Student Unit Record System

The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, American Civil Liberties Union, Network for Public Education and other groups published a letter yesterday warning against the creation of a federal database that tracks academic and employment outcomes for college and university students, also known as a student unit record system.

The idea for a federal student unit record system was first proposed by the Bush administration in 2005. It was later banned by the Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008, preventing government agencies from collecting individual-level data.   

The letter addresses the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, which was created by President Obama earlier this year to examine “strategies to increase the availability and use of government data, in order to build evidence related to government programs and policies,” according to the letter. According to Politico, the letter responds to a recent report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that outlines the foundation’s plans to “develop a comprehensive national data system or exchange.”

The letter is available on the Student Privacy Matters site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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