Court orders release of personal student data

Posted at 9:47 AM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 12:47:45-05

A recent federal court ruling ordering the release of personal data on more than 10 million California students highlights the growing amount of information schools now collect -- and the loopholes that allow it to be released.

The order involves a lawsuit filed in 2011 in which plaintiffs are requesting data kept by the California Department of Education to determine whether the state is fulfilling its federal obligations for disabled students.

The data includes everything from test scores to Social Security numbers.

The information can only be viewed by the plaintiffs and must be destroyed or returned at the end of the lawsuit. Nonetheless, parents are filing objections to stop the release.

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was created in 1974 -- a time when test scores and addresses were kept on paper and locked in a filing cabinet. Schools now collect significantly more information.