ESEA Reauthorization Case Study

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Revision and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1964 could affect real change to current practices. Its current version, the No Child Left Behind Act (2002), extended the testing and accountability measures first enacted into legislation in the prior revision and reauthorization of the ESEA, the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994. NCLB led has to massive amounts of data being collected and stored in ways unimaginable when it was signed by President George W. Bush. This large scale digital data collection would continue under both the House and Senate’s recent revisions of the ESEA, as would the escalation of digital learning tools.
In July, 2015, the House of Representatives of the 114th Congress approved
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A bipartisan amendment to the Senate’s rewrite of the ESEA reauthorization, introduced by Republican Senator Orin Hatch and Democratic Senator Edward Markey and passed by an 89-0 vote, accomplished what the Messer/Polis bill could not. In Section 1018 of this amendment, a Student Privacy Policy Committee would be established to study the effectiveness of current Federal laws and their enforcement with regards to student privacy and parental rights over student information (S.Amdt.2080, 2015) and to make recommendations for updating these laws. Section 1018 requires the committee to provide updated definitions for the heretofore ambiguous terms education record; personally identifiable information; aggregated, de-identified, or anonymized data; third-party; and educational purpose data (S.Amdt.2080, 2015). Section 1018 also addresses data sharing, parental access, and the need for professional development for any educator who comes into contact with personally identifiable data (S.Amdt.2080, 2015). This Senate bill includes a requirement for research into how technology is used as a learning device and as an instructional and curricular tool. Again, the requirement for research-based best practices may impact the selection and use of digital learning tools by school administrators and classroom

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