About the Principles

High-quality education data are essential for improving students’ achievement in school and preparing them for success in life. When effectively used, these data can empower educators and families with the information they need to make decisions to help all learners succeed.

Read the Principles
The Principles
  • 1

    Student data should be used to further and support student learning and success.

  • 2

    Student data are most powerful when used for continuous improvement and personalizing student learning.

  • 3

    Student data should be used as a tool for informing, engaging, and empowering students, families, teachers, and school system leaders.

  • 4

    Students, families, and educators should have timely access to information collected about the student.

  • 5

    Student data should be used to inform and not replace the professional judgment of educators.

  • 6

    Students’ personal information should only be shared, under terms or agreement, with service providers for legitimate educational purposes; otherwise the consent to share must be given by a parent, guardian, or a student, if that student is over 18. School systems should have policies for overseeing this process, which include support and guidance for teachers.

  • 7

    Educational institutions, and their contracted service providers with access to student data, including researchers, should have clear, publicly available rules and guidelines for how they collect, use, safeguard, and destroy those data.

  • 8

    Educators and their contracted service providers should only have access to the minimum student data required to support student success.

  • 9

    Everyone who has access to students’ personal information should be trained and know how to effectively and ethically use, protect, and secure it.

  • 10

    Any educational institution with the authority to collect and maintain student personal information should

    • a. have a system of governance that designates rules, procedures, and the individual or group responsible for decisionmaking regarding data collection, use, access, sharing, and security, and use of online educational programs;
    • b. have a policy for notification of any misuse or breach of information and available remedies;
    • c. maintain a security process that follows widely accepted industry best practices;
    • d. provide a designated place or contact where students and families can go to learn of their rights and have their questions about student data collection, use, and security answered.
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“Educators will only gain the trust of parents and families if student information is used responsibly, ethically, and only when necessary to benefit students. This is a very important effort by the education community to work together to articulate core beliefs and a commitment to building transparency and trust.”

Keith Krueger, CEO, Consortium for School Networking

“Educators rely on data to identify and provide supports to all students, to improve instructional practices, and to inform schoolwide improvement activities. These 10 foundational principles reinforce the primacy of these uses and balance it with reasonable safeguards all schools can implement. In so doing, the 10 principles make an important digital-age contribution to the ages-old goal of schools: to provide an environment in which students are both well-served and well-protected.”

JoAnn Bartoletti, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals

“High-quality education data are critical to improving student achievement and success and to empowering educators and families. Safeguarding student privacy is an essential component of effective data use. Everyone who uses data to help students achieve should adhere to and build upon these 10 principles.”

Aimee Rogstad Guidera, President and CEO, Data Quality Campaign

“The National Center for Learning Disabilities is proud to support these principles and believes they are a step toward ensuring student data is used appropriately in the furtherance of student success. Student data is invaluable to student success: it informs instruction and offers parents and educators insight into the strengths and challenges of students. Equally important is the privacy and security of this data. Parents must be informed about the type of data being collected, how it is protected, and what recourse is available should a violation of a child’s privacy occur. ”

James Wendorf, Executive Director, National Center for Learning Disabilities

“When learning data are used in a meaningful way it can help personalize and improve education for students. But we must also make sure we adequately protect private information used to reach that goal. These Student Data Principles are an excellent way to help balance those interests.”

Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education, and former governor of West Virginia

“In a world where knowledge is power, data can provide parents, students, and educators with the information they need to ensure every student is learning and achieving their potential. The Foundation for Excellence in Education was proud to partner with the Data Quality Campaign to develop the Student Data Principles. The principles are a needed step toward building a trusted environment that enables effective data use, while at the same time safeguarding and protecting student information.”

John Bailey, Vice President of Policy, the Foundation for Excellence in Education

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