From: Belcher, Kim

Sent: Friday, May 20, 2016

To: Griffin, Charles Cc: Michalsky, Bryan; Vann, Ashley; Fox, Rebecca; Adams, Joe; Doyle, Courtney; Dibrell, Henry; ‘George’

Subject: Student Data & Privacy Concerns

Good afternoon.

In recent weeks, we have watched as the Commission on Next Generation Assessment and Accountability has discussed the fast forward shift to “real time,” “any time” assessments.  Commissioner Morath opened testimony in one of the hearings this year explaining how “we” presently have millions of metrics of data available on our public school children that is set to exponentially increase with the coming technology for assessments and accountability.  He also said there is no real agreement as to what is useful or not useful.  Compound that with all of the other data driven activity, such as surveys, etc and the result is a great deal of concern for our students’ privacy and the respective parental rights that may be undermined as a result.

We have seen the evidence of this ramping up in Katy as the District has spent millions of dollars on new technology in recent months.

Presently, there is no consistency in data usage, nor parental notification of such usage throughout the District. Parents, students and teachers have no idea where the data goes, how it is utilized, to whom it may be sold or otherwise provided, how it follows our students/teachers, etc.

I would like to respectfully request that the board consider meeting with the public, especially parents and teachers to address concerns surrounding the use of technology and the data produced, whether used by the teacher, student or other means. The National School Board Association has issued guidelines on privacy protocols.  I would hope that the board would consider community input on how we achieve the safest environment for our students and teachers, as well as protect the District as it pertains to these coming “reforms.”

Time is of the essence of course, as I anticipate that the flood of technology that is being purchased and the wrapping up of the Next Gen Commission will result in us seeing these changes hit our classrooms in the fall.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 Thank you.

Kim Belcher