Thursday, March 30, 2017

How the SAT and PSAT collect personal data on students — and what the College Board does with it - The Washington Post

How the SAT and PSAT collect personal data on students — and what the College Board does with it - The Washington Post:

How the SAT and PSAT collect personal data on students — and what the College Board does with it


If your child takes the SAT or PSAT, is his or her personal information being collected, profiled, licensed and sold?
That is the question that Cheri Kiesecker, Colorado parent and member of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, asks and attempts to answer in the following important post. The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy is a national alliance of parents and advocates defending the rights of parents and students to protect their data.
The SAT has traditionally been used as a college entrance exam but it, and the ACT, also a college entrance exam, are increasingly being used as high school tests. In fact, 25 states now require that high school students take them for school accountability purposes, Education Week reported here.
The protection of personal data is in the news with the recent passage by Congress of legislation that eliminates landmark online privacy protections established by the Obama administration. It removes limits that had been placed on Internet service providers —  such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon — on how they can use data they collect on their customers, including browsing habits and Social Security numbers. Privacy advocates are especially concerned with how this will affect young people.
Here’s the post by Kiesecker, and following it is a response from the College Board, which owns the SAT and the PSAT exams.

By Cheri Kiesecker
 In schools all over the country, middle and high school students will soon take PSAT and SAT assessments. I’m a parent and after my child’s class was asked to take the PSAT 8/9 (given to eighth and ninth graders) this past October, I discovered that the College Board, owner of these assessments, solicits personal information from each student without parental consent.
Several weeks after the test, the College Board returned the completed PSAT answer sheets and test booklets to students once the exam had been scored and recorded. I was surprised to learn that the PSAT 8/9 answer sheet begins by asking many very personal questions of each student; though nowhere on the form or booklet does it say these questions are How the SAT and PSAT collect personal data on students — and what the College Board does with it - The Washington Post:



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