SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 9, 2014 — Leaders from Graduation Alliance, which helps students across the nation reach for high school graduation, career training and college readiness, applauded Tuesday’s Education Week article focused on student privacy.
At the heart of the Education Week article, by reporter Michele Molnar, were concerns over the protection of student privacy when records change hands to a privately held education service provider.
“Having recently found ourselves in the situation of acquiring a great deal of student data when we moved to save a nationwide program that provides college and career-transition assistance to students, we know how challenging and sensitive this issue can be,” Graduation Alliance CEO Ray Kelly said.
Upon the acquisition Graduation Alliance acted quickly to assure students, parents and school systems that student privacy is a paramount priority and that it would handle user information with the utmost of sensitivity. The company informed students and parent users of the acquisition and presented them an opportunity to opt out of further services.
“In the process of carrying out this obligation it became clear that, in some cases, students and parents didn’t realize their data had been acquired by a private educational service provider in the first place,” Kelly said. “It is, of course, very common for districts to partner with organizations like ours to do things they might not otherwise be able to do on their own. These matters aren’t always understood by parents and students, though, and the recent EdWeek article can be a real catalyst for changing that.”
Kelly reiterated Graduation Alliance’s long-time pledge to protect student data, regardless of whether its created in the process of serving current students or acquired by the growing company in cases such as the one featured in the EdWeek article.
“We won’t sell it, trade it or let it out of our control,” Kelly said. “We only keep student information so that we can serve students under contract with the school systems with which we partner.”
Since 2007, Graduation Alliance has specialized in creating learning environments for underserved student populations, crafting curriculum strong in career and technical education, and facilitating academic mentorship programs for a diversity of learners. For more information visit GraduationAlliance.com.
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— Jeff Beck, Graduation Alliance, email@example.com, 801-931-2707