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Item(s) found: 38
Challenges in Matching Student and Worker Information Raise Concerns about Longitudinal Data Systems
Date CapturedWednesday July 15 2015, 7:29 AM
EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DATA Challenges in Matching Student and Worker Information Raise Concerns about Longitudinal Data Systems Report to the Chairman, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, U.S. Senate November 2014 GAO-15-27 United States Government Accountability Office
GAO: States Have Made Progress in Implementing New Standards and Assessments but Challenges Remain
Date CapturedMonday December 15 2014, 8:24 AM
What is known about states' implementation of college- and career-ready standards? 2. What key considerations are states facing as they implement assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards? 3. How does Education plan to oversee statewide assessments, and how has it overseen the Assessment Program? GAO is not making recommendations.
INFORMATION RESELLERS Consumer Privacy Framework Needs to Reflect Changes in Technology and the Marketplace
Date CapturedThursday November 21 2013, 2:23 PM
What GAO Recommends: Congress should consider strengthening the consumer privacy framework to reflect the effects of changes in technology and the increased market for consumer information. Any changes should seek to provide consumers with appropriate privacy protections without unduly inhibiting commerce and innovation. The Department of Commerce agreed that strengthened privacy protections could better protect consumers
Status of the Department of Education’s Inventory of Its Data Collections
Date CapturedSaturday August 03 2013, 8:32 AM
1. What information will the inventory of Education’s data collections contain and when will the inventory be completed? 2. What process is Education using to catalog its data collections, and to what extent does that process include internal controls to ensure the accuracy of the information collected? 3. What are Education’s plans to make its data collection inventory publicly available?
MOBILE DEVICE LOCATION DATA: Additional Federal Actions Could Help Protect Consumer Privacy
Date CapturedFriday October 12 2012, 6:02 PM
"Companies GAO examined disclosed in their privacy policies that the companies were collecting consumers' location data, but did not clearly state how the companies were using these data or what third parties they may share them with," GAO investigators wrote. "Furthermore, although policies stated that companies shared location data with third parties, they were sometimes vague about which types of companies these were and why they were sharing the data." Without clear information on exactly how companies use information, consumers "would be unable to effectively judge whether the uses of their location data might violate their privacy," the report concludes.
Date CapturedThursday June 07 2012, 4:22 PM
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GRANTS: Education Should Take Additional Steps to Enhance Accountability for Schools and Contractors
Date CapturedThursday April 12 2012, 9:57 AM
GAO-12-373 GAO recommends that Education (1) provide additional support to states about making evidence-based grant renewal decisions and (2) ensure that contractor performance is reviewed. Education generally supported our first recommendation but disagreed with the second. We modified our recommendation to address some of Education’s concerns.
RACE TO THE TOP: Reform Efforts Are Under Way and Information Sharing Could Be Improved
Date CapturedMonday February 27 2012, 10:49 PM
GAO: RACE TO THE TOP: Reform Efforts Are Under Way and Information Sharing Could Be Improved
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS: Various Challenges Likely to Slow Implementation of a Public Safety Broadband Network
Date CapturedThursday February 23 2012, 7:07 PM
GAO-12-343 Implementation of a Public Safety Broadband Network: To help ensure that public safety agencies are not overpaying for handheld communication devices, the Secretary of Homeland Security should work with federal and state partners to identify and communicate opportunities for joint procurement of public safety LMR devices.
RACE TO THE TOP: Reform Efforts Are Under Way and Information Sharing Could Be Improved
Date CapturedSunday January 15 2012, 8:51 AM
State officials GAO interviewed said their states took a variety of actions to be competitive for RTT grants. Of the 20 states GAO interviewed, officials in 6 said their states undertook reforms, such as amending laws related to teacher evaluations, to be competitive for RTT. However, officials from 14 states said their reforms resulted from prior or ongoing efforts and were not made to be more competitive for RTT. Grantees plan to use RTT grant funds to implement reforms in four areas. (See figure.) The largest percentage of state-level RTT funds will be used to increase the effectiveness of teachers and leaders. GAO interviewed officials in 8 nongrantee states who said they expect to continue implementing parts of their RTT plans, though at a slower pace than if they had received a grant.
Race to the Top: Characteristics of Grantees’ Amended Programs and Education’s Review Process
Date CapturedTuesday January 10 2012, 3:13 PM
GAO Findings: • According to Education officials, most amendments consisted of minor adjustments to grant budgets, activities, and timelines, and some amendments involved significant changes to the grant award. Grantees have cited a variety of reasons for these amendments, such as timeline delays and difficulty finding qualified staff. • Education established a review process in which Education officials consider amendment requests on a case-by-case basis. In addition, the department distinguishes significant amendment requests from minor requests based on how the amendment would change project timelines, budgets, performance measures, and the implementation of other related projects. Education reportedly applied greater scrutiny to requests that involved significant changes to grantees’ planned activities, often by requiring that grantees provide additional information or seek consultation from issue- area experts within the department. Rather than reject amendment requests, Education officials explained that they generally asked grantees to resubmit requests with more information.
Social Media: Federal Agencies Need Policies and Procedures for Managing and Protecting Information They Access and Disseminate
Date CapturedThursday July 28 2011, 6:51 PM
Federal agencies increasingly use recently developed Internet technologies that allow individuals or groups to create, organize, comment on, and share online content. The use of these social media services-- including popular Web sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube-- has been endorsed by President Obama and provides opportunities for agencies to more readily share information with and solicit feedback from the public. However, these services may also pose risks to the adequate protection of both personal and government information. GAO was asked to (1) describe how federal agencies are currently using commercially provided social media services and (2) determine the extent to which agencies have developed and implemented policies and procedures for managing and protecting information associated with this use. To do this, GAO examined the headquarters-level Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and YouTube channels of 24 major federal agencies; reviewed pertinent policies, procedures, and guidance; and interviewed officials involved in agency use of social media. Agency: Department of Education; Records management: Document processes and policies and record-keeping roles and responsibilities for how social media records are identified and managed: Did not develop policies and procedures for use of social media services; Privacy protection: Update privacy policy to discuss use of PII made available through social media: Did not develop policies and procedures for use of social media services; Privacy protection: Conduct privacy impact assessment for social media use: Developed policies and procedures that guided use of some but not all services; Security risk management: Identify security risks associated with agency use of social media and security controls to mitigate risks: Did not develop policies and procedures for use of social media services. ***** Appendix IX: Comments from the Department of Education:
K-12 Education: Many Challenges Arise in Educating Students Who Change Schools Frequently
Date CapturedMonday December 20 2010, 9:20 PM
GAO-11-40 November 18, 2010 - The recent economic downturn, with foreclosures and homelessness, may be increasing student mobility.
K-12 EDUCATION - Selected Cases of Public and Private Schools That Hired or Retained Individuals with Histories of Sexual Misconduct
Date CapturedFriday December 17 2010, 1:00 PM
GAO-11-200 ; GAO examined show that individuals with histories of sexual misconduct were hired or retained by public and private schools as teachers, support staff, volunteers, and contractors.
Many States Collect Graduates’ Employment Information, but Clearer Guidance on Student Privacy Requirements Is Needed
Date CapturedMonday December 13 2010, 9:17 AM
GAO-10-927 - GAO recommends that Education clarify means by which states can collect and share graduates’ employment information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and establish a time frame for doing so. Education agreed with the recommendation.
OPM Should Better Monitor Implementation of Privacy-Related Policies and Procedures for Background
Date CapturedSaturday October 09 2010, 11:00 AM
GAO-10-849 Privacy -- GAO is recommending that the Director of OPM (1) develop guidance for analyzing and mitigating privacy risks in privacy impact assessments, and (2) develop and implement oversight mechanisms for ensuring that investigators properly protect PII and that customer agencies adhere to agreed-upon privacy protection measures. OPM agreed with our recommendations.
Congress Should Consider Alternatives for Strengthening Protection of Personally Identifiable Information
Date CapturedTuesday September 28 2010, 2:51 PM
GAO-08-795T : In its report GAO identified alternatives that the Congress should consider, including revising the scope of privacy laws to cover all personal information, requiring that the use of such information be limited to a specific purpose, and revising the structure and publication of privacy notices.
Privacy flags raise concern for graduate students
Date CapturedThursday March 11 2010, 9:24 PM
by Katie Perkowski -[Undergraduate students are not the only ones concerned with personal information available through UK’s online people search — now, graduate students are voicing their concern, too. Members of UK’s graduate school have recently voiced concern about their information like home address and home telephone number being available on the UK Web site without their knowledge, said English teaching assistant Jesslyn Collins-Frohlich.]
Commercial Activities in Schools: Use of Student Data is Limited and Additional Dissemination of Guidance Could Help Districts Develop Policies
Date CapturedThursday March 12 2009, 3:16 PM
GAO -- Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should take additional action to assist districts in understanding that they are required to have specific policies in place for the collection, disclosure, and use of student information for marketing and selling purposes by disseminating its guidance to state school boards associations.
DOD’s and VA’s Sharing of Information
Date CapturedFriday January 30 2009, 10:11 AM
(GAO-09-268) In the more than 10 years since DOD and VA began collaborating to electronically share health information, the two departments have increased interoperability. Nevertheless, while the departments continue to make progress, the manner in which they report progress—by reporting increases in interoperability over time—has limitations. These limitations are rooted in the departments’ plans, which identify interoperable capabilities to be implemented, but lack the results-oriented (i.e., objective, quantifiable, and measurable) goals and associated performance measures that are a necessary basis for effective management. Without establishing results-oriented goals, then reporting progress using measures relative to the established goals, the departments and their stakeholders do not have the comprehensive picture that they need to effectively manage their progress toward achieving increased interoperability. Further constraining the departments’ management effectiveness is their slow pace in addressing our July 2008 recommendation related to setting up the interagency program office that Congress called for to function as a single point of accountability in the development and implementation of electronic health record capabilities.
U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program Planning and Execution Improvements Needed
Date CapturedMonday December 22 2008, 3:21 PM
GAO-09-96 -- DHS has not adequately met the conditions associated with its legislatively mandated fiscal year 2008 US-VISIT expenditure plan. The plan does not fully satisfy any of the conditions that apply to DHS, either because it does not address key aspects of the condition or because what it does address is not adequately supported or is otherwise not reflective of known program weaknesses. Given that the legislative conditions are intended to promote the delivery of promised system capabilities and value, on time and within budget, and to provide Congress with an oversight and accountability tool, these expenditure plan limitations are significant. Beyond the expenditure plan, other program planning and execution limitations and weaknesses also confront DHS in its quest to deliver US-VISIT capabilities and value in a timely and cost-effective manner.
CYBER ANALYSIS AND WARNING - DHS Faces Challenges in Establishing a Comprehensive National Capability
Date CapturedTuesday September 23 2008, 10:15 AM
GAO 08-588: We recommend that the Secretary of Homeland Security take four actions to fully establish a national cyber analysis and warning capability. Specifically, the Secretary should address deficiencies in each of the attributes identified for Recommendations for Executive Action • monitoring, including establish a comprehensive baseline understanding of the nation’s critical information infrastructure and engage appropriate nonfederal stakeholders to support a national-level cyber monitoring capability; • analysis, including expanding its capabilities to investigate incidents; • warning, including ensuring consistent notifications that are targeted, actionable, and timely; and • response, including ensuring that US-CERT provides assistance in the mitigation of and recovery from simultaneous severe incidents, including incidents of national significance. We also recommend that the Secretary address the challenges that impede DHS from fully implementing the key attributes, including the following 6 items: • engaging appropriate stakeholders in federal and nonfederal entities to determine ways to develop closer working and more trusted relationships; • expeditiously hiring sufficiently trained cyber analysts and developing strategies for hiring and retaining highly qualified cyber analysts; • identifying and acquiring technological tools to strengthen cyber analytical capabilities and handling the steadily increasing workload; developing predictive analysis capabilities by defining terminology, methodologies, and indicators, and engaging appropriate stakeholders in other federal and nonfederal entities; • filling key management positions and developing strategies for hiring and retaining those officials; and • ensuring that there are distinct and transparent lines of authority and responsibility assigned to DHS organizations with cybersecurity roles and responsibilities, including the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications and the National Cybersecurity Center.
Alternatives Exist for Enhancing Protection of Personally Identifiable Information
Date CapturedSaturday June 21 2008, 8:57 PM
Highlights of GAO-08-536, a report to congressional requesters: In assessing the appropriate balance between the needs of the federal government to collect personally identifiable information for programmatic purposes and the assurances that individuals should have that their information is being sufficiently protected and properly used, Congress should consider amending applicable laws, such as the Privacy Act and the E-Government Act, according to the alternatives outlined in this report, including: • revising the scope of the laws to cover all personally identifiable information collected, used, and maintained by the federal government; • setting requirements to ensure that the collection and use of personally identifiable information is limited to a stated purpose; and • establishing additional mechanisms for informing the public about privacy protections by revising requirements for the structure and publication of public notices.
PRIVACY -- Congress Should Consider Alternatives for Strengthening Protection of Personally Identifiable Information
Date CapturedWednesday June 18 2008, 5:09 PM
In its report GAO identified alternatives that the Congress should consider, including revising the scope of privacy laws to cover all personal information, requiring that the use of such information be limited to a specific purpose, and revising the structure and publication of privacy notices. OMB commented that the Congress should consider these alternatives in the broader context of existing privacy and related statutes.
Data Breaches Are Frequent, but Evidence of Resulting Identity Theft Is Limited; However, the Full Extent Is Unknown
Date CapturedThursday June 05 2008, 7:03 PM
GAO-07-737 -- There are two primary forms of identity theft. First, identity thieves can use financial account identifiers, such as credit card or bank account numbers, to take over an individual’s existing accounts to make unauthorized charges or withdraw money. Second, thieves can use identifying data, which can include such things as SSNs and driver’s license numbers, to open new financial accounts and incur charges and credit in an individual’s name, without that person’s knowledge. This second form of identity theft is potentially the most damaging because, among other things, it can take some time before a victim becomes aware of the problem, and it can cause substantial harm to the victim’s credit rating. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others face substantial costs and inconvenience repairing damage to their credit records.
Most School Districts Have Developed Emergency Management Plans, but Would Benefit from Additional Federal Guidance
Date CapturedThursday June 14 2007, 2:07 PM
GAO Report: While most school districts have procedures in their plans for staff roles and responsibilities, for example, school districts have not widely employed such procedures as, academic instruction via local radio or television, for continuing student education in the event of an extended school closure, such as might occur during a pandemic. Likewise, while many districts have procedures for special needs students, GAO found during site visits that some of these procedures may not fully ensure the safety of these students in an emergency. Finally, while most school districts practice their emergency management plans annually within the school community, GAO estimates that over one-quarter of school districts have never trained with any first responders and over two-thirds of school districts do not regularly train with community partners on how to implement their school district emergency management plans. Many school districts experience challenges in planning for emergencies, and some school districts face difficulties in communicating and coordinating with first responders and parents, but most do not have such challenges with students. Based on GAO’s survey of school districts, in many school districts officials struggle to balance priorities related to educating students and other administrative responsibilities with activities for emergency management and consider a lack of equipment, training for staff, and personnel with expertise in the area of emergency planning as challenges. In an estimated 39 percent of school districts with emergency management plans, officials experienced a lack of partnerships, limited time or funding to plan, or lack of interoperability between equipment used by school districts and first responders.
Reading First: States Report Improvements in Reading Instruction, but Additional Procedures Would Clarify Education's Role in Ensuring Proper Implementation by States
Date CapturedFriday March 23 2007, 1:54 PM
GAO-07-161, February 28, 2007. GAO recommends that Education establish control procedures to guide departmental officials and contractors in their interactions with states, districts, and schools to ensure compliance with statutory provisions. GAO also recommends that Education establish and disseminate clear procedures governing its monitoring process. Education, in its response to a draft of this report, agreed with GAO’s recommendations.
No Child Left Behind Act: Education Assistance Could Help States Better Measure Progress of Students with Limited English Proficiency
Date CapturedFriday March 23 2007, 1:44 PM
GAO-07-646T, March 23, 2007. The GAO report recommended that Education (1) support research on accommodations, (2) identify and provide technical support states need to ensure the validity of academic assessments, (3) publish additional guidance on requirements for assessing English language proficiency, and (4) explore ways to provide additional flexibility for measuring annual progress for these students. Education generally agreed with our recommendations and has taken a number of steps to address them.
GAO: Reading Program Improperly Managed
Date CapturedFriday March 23 2007, 9:10 AM
AP reports, "Education Department officials and their contractors appear to have improperly backed certain types of instruction in administering a $1 billion-a-year reading program, congressional investigators found. The Government Accountability Office report supports assertions by the inspector general of the Education Department, who has released several reports in recent months into the Reading First program. The program is a key part of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. It offers intensive reading help for low-income and struggling schools."
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT Education’s Data Improvement Efforts Could Strengthen the Basis for Distributing Title III Funds
Date CapturedFriday December 08 2006, 1:45 PM
GAO 07-140 recommends: To address issues related to Title III allocation, we recommended that Education (1) include clear instructions about how to provide correct and complete state data on the number of students with limited English proficiency assessed annually for proficiency in English; (2) develop and implement a transparent methodology for determining the relative accuracy of the two allowable sources of data—ACS or state data on the number of students with limited English proficiency assessed annually—for Title III allocations to states; and (3) seek authority to use statistical methodologies to reduce the volatility associated with the ACS data.
GAO eyes abstinence programs
Date CapturedFriday November 17 2006, 8:22 AM
AP reports, "Most no-sex-before-marriage programs escape the type of scientific scrutiny required to show whether they work, a government watchdog said yesterday in a report on the federally funded abstinence education efforts. Also, the materials used by the programs face limited review for scientific accuracy, the Government Accountability Office said. The abstinence programs receive about $158 million a year in public money from the Health and Human Services Department."
No Child Left Behind Act: Education Actions Needed to Improve Local Implementation and State Evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services (full study)
Date CapturedSaturday August 05 2006, 10:36 AM
GAO-06-758 August 4, 2006. "GAO examined (1) how SES [supplemental educational services] participation changed between school years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005; (2) how SES providers are working with districts to deliver SES; (3) how states are monitoring and evaluating SES; and (4) how the Department of Education (Education) monitors and supports state implementation of SES."
Report: Tutoring part of No Child Left Behind falls short
Date CapturedSaturday August 05 2006, 1:48 AM
USA Today reports, "About one in five school districts, most of them rural, didn't offer students any services even though they were required to do so, according to the GAO, Congress' watchdog arm"
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT: Assistance from Education Could Help States Better Measure Progress of Students with Limited English Proficiency
Date CapturedThursday July 27 2006, 9:57 AM
GAO July 2006 study, "The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA) focused attention on the academic achievement of more than 5 million students with limited English proficiency. Obtaining valid test results for these students is challenging, given their language barriers. This report describes (1) the extent to which these students are meeting annual academic progress goals, (2) what states have done to ensure the validity of their academic assessments, (3) what states are doing to ensure the validity of their English language proficiency assessments, and (4) how the U.S. Department of Education (Education) is supporting states’ efforts to meet NCLBA’s assessment requirements for these students."
Public Education: Meeting the Needs of Students With Limited English Proficiency
Date CapturedWednesday July 26 2006, 7:47 PM
This GAO report finds, "No clear consensus exists on the length of time children with limited English proficiency need to become proficient in English. Several factors make it difficult to generalize about how much time is needed." GAO-01-226 February 23, 2001.
Education’s Information Could Help States Further Implement Teacher Qualification Requirements
Date CapturedMonday December 12 2005, 4:43 PM
GAO-06-25 NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT Improved Accessibility to Education’s Information Could Help States Further Implement Teacher Qualification Requirements.

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