The Department of Education has released final regulations amending the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. The changes to the FERPA regulations will have the important effect of improving access to data. Improved access to data will facilitate States’ ability to evaluate education programs, ensure limited resources are invested effectively, build upon what works and discard what does not, increase accountability and transparency, and contribute to a culture of innovation and continuous improvement in education.
The benefits of using student data, however, must always be balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Parents and students put their trust in the stewards of education data to ensure that students’ personal information is used only for legitimate purposes and only when absolutely necessary. The Department values this trust and strives to do all it can to protect the privacy of student information.
You can find more information, along with PDF files of the new regulations here: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html