Want to See What Data Nevada Collects On Your Kids? Just Pay $10K

nevadadoelogoJohn Eppolito is a Stop Common Core activist in Nevada.  He asked a couple of months ago to see what data was collected on his four children by the Nevada State Department of Education.  The cost for him to receive that information is staggering.  Below is the email thread between him and Judy Osgood, the Public Information Officer with the Nevada Department of Education (published with his permission):

From: Judy Osgood
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 4:36 PM
To: ‘John Eppolito’
Subject: SBAC – SDLS

Mr. Eppolito,

The Department’s Director of Information Technology, Glenn Myer, has reviewed your request to receive reports of data for each of your four children that is contained in the SLDS.  He has estimated that the cost will be approximately $10,194, which represents at least three solid weeks (120 hours) of dedicated staff time (billed at $84.95/hour) to build, test and validate a new application that will be able to display individual student data in a readable format.  Payment of this fee must be made in full before work can begin.

Please understand that the primary purpose of  the Department of Education’s SLDS is to support required state and federal reporting, funding of local education agencies, education accountability, and public reporting.  The system currently is not capable of responding to the type of individual student data request you have presented.  Thus, the extraordinary cost to create a system application that will produce a readable report.  Furthermore, data requests outside the scope of the SLDS’ current capability must be prioritized and can only be accommodated when staff resources are available.  This prioritization will most likely result in your data request not being fulfilled for several months.

Please notify me if you would like to proceed with your request.

Judy P. Osgood

Public Information Officer

Nevada Department of Education

700 E. Fifth Street, Suite 100

Carson City, Nevada 89701

Office: (775) 687-9201

Cell: (775) 443-7156

josgood@doe.nv.gov

From: John Eppolito
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 1:22 PM
To: Judy Osgood
Subject: RE: SBAC – SDLS

How much would this cost?

When can I get the information on my four children?

John

Can I see what data is in the NSLDS for my children?

The State has no tool or visual application that allows for student data to be viewed by the public.  The Department could provide a data dump that includes all data captured for a student.  This would require a data request and may result in a charge based on the programming time involved to create such a report.

From: Judy Osgood
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 11:10 AM
To:
Cc: Glenn Meyer; Julia Teska; Dale Erquiaga
Subject: SBAC – SDLS

Mr. Eppolito,

I am responding to your email to Glenn Myer last week regarding your children’s data and the NSLDS.  Glenn prepared the following responses, noted in red, to your questions.

Also, for your information, I have attached a Myths and Facts sheet prepared by the Data Quality Campaign on the issue of student data privacy, from a national perspective.

How does my children’s data get into the NSLDS?

Data is uploaded from each school district and charter school using a secure and encrypted data transmission.  Data is uploaded nightly.

Can I stop it?

Current Nevada law requires each district to provide the NSLDS with each student’s current data record.

Can I see what data is in the NSLDS for my children?

The State has no tool or visual application that allows for student data to be viewed by the public.  The Department could provide a data dump that includes all data captured for a student.  This would require a data request and may result in a charge based on the programming time involved to create such a report.

Does the SBAC get all data in the NSLDS?  If not what data does SBAC get?

SBAC will not get identifiable student-level data from the NSLDS. SBAC will collect and maintain a minimum amount of aggregated, non-personally identifiable data.

If students do not take the SBAC exams does the data in the NSLDS get transferred to SBAC?

The SLDS is not “feeding” data to SBAC.  Only student data necessary to generate the proper on-line test for the proper student is sent to SBAC.

Respectfully,

Judy P. Osgood

Public Information Officer

Nevada Department of Education

700 E. Fifth Street, Suite 100

Carson City, Nevada 89701

Office: (775) 687-9201

Cell: (775) 443-7156

josgood@doe.nv.gov

Update: I was asked about FOIA.  With FOIA and open records requests government officials do have to provide most information.  That doesn’t mean they have to give it to you for free.  Many states have policies/laws re. reimbursement of man hours & supplies.

2 thoughts on “Want to See What Data Nevada Collects On Your Kids? Just Pay $10K

  1. How strange. The whole purpose for setting up the SLDS, according to the Common Core group, was so that teachers, parents, and administrators could access student data in a more streamlined way. Nevada is clearly saying that parents need not apply. I’m wondering if FOIA requests would even be applicable since SBAC is a private non-profit, not a government agency. According to the revised FERPA regulations in 2011 the school and state agency do not have to have parent permission and do not have to supply the student information given to outside agencies, from how I read it, as long as that outside group is conducting research into “predictive tests”…Common Core at work.

  2. Since his children’s school(s) are required by FERPA to fulfill a parent’s “right to inspect and review” student’s records at no cost (schools may only charge a fee for copies), it could be worth pursuing further at the actual school(s).
    Also, I agree that the NSLDS should be set up to include parent access since it is stated on the government website for SLDS that its purpose is to “help states, districts, schools, educators, ‘and other stakeholders’ to make data-informed decisions to improve student learning and outcomes.” Surely, a parent is the primary “stakeholder” in their child’s education?!

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