By Jim McKeever

HARTFORD — The Hamden School District’s disclosure of personally identifiable student data to an education industry group — without the knowledge of parents or students – is a threat to student privacy, according to the Connecticut Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union.

They say it should be  a “lightning rod” for legislative action on HB 7017, An Act Concerning Student Data Privacy…

‘The CCER is a nonprofit organization that works to narrow Connecticut’s achievement gap,’ according to Nicki Perkins, Director of Communications and Development for the CCER in New Haven. ‘Our work with districts is designed to help them build up their systems so that they can best support teaching and learning. The project that we did with Hamden is valued at approximately $100,000 and was provided to the district for free.’

‘The data collected from Hamden was anonymous, and was collected to provide the district with a free analysis of their resource expenditures. We looked at the way they use their resources, and compared their allocations with those of other districts. This was an effort to help the district to improve its efficiency,” said Perkins. “Even though this is not student data, we still have data protection protocols in place.’

‘It is a shame that the CEA is so determined to protect adults and the status quo that it would work against our efforts to make schools better for kids,’ said Jeffrey Villar, executive director of CCER. ‘Worse, the statements released by the CEA are factually incorrect, and they know it. It is completely irresponsible for them to make these false and inflammatory statements. Although this is going to sound harsh, they ought to be ashamed of themselves.’

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