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Articles: Data

How a VPN sidetracks the internet, keeping the data at your school secure.

Schools thrive on free and open exchanges of information, but as soon as a principal reviews attendance records or examines student grades held on a district server, that openness must end.

The IRS is warning district officials: Be wary of phishing scams targeting tax forms and other sensitive employee data. Over two dozen school districts have fallen victim to these attacks in recent months.

The E-rate program, which is entering its 20th cycle and is worth about $4 billion, is still giving. It can still help districts connect their school buildings to the internet—unbeknownst to some leaders, says John Harrington, CEO of Funds for Learning consulting firm.

Nationally, ransomware attacks surged from 4 million incidents in 2015 to nearly 638 million last year—a jump of 15,850 percent—according to a report from network security firm SonicWall.

While online curricula platforms have propelled personalized learning to new levels, Coppell ISD in north Texas takes the concepts a step further.

Metro Nashville Public Schools has 25 data specialists and managers considering data. Even one person focused on data is a step forward. (GettyImages.com: Alex Doubovitsky)

K12 education lags behind U.S. business and industry when it comes to using data to improve outcomes, says a 2016 report by the Center for Data Innovation.

States have to create education reporting systems during the 2016-17 school year, run pilots in the 2017-18 year, and begin implementing in the 2018-19 year. (GettyImages.com: DragonImages)

A new accountability and data collection system that the U.S. Department of Education proposed for teacher preparation programs last fall already faces challenges.

A total of 277 K12 leaders participated in DA’s security survey, which was part of a broader set of surveys deployed to readers in late 2016.

As in years past, this new year will bring all sorts of new technology to schools. The question for educators is: To what degree do these technologies enhance education?

When it comes to data analytics, Maribeth Luftglass,CIO at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, focuses on ensuring privacy of all student data. And, she adds, it should be a top concern for all CIOs. (Photo: Donnie Biggs, Fairfax County Schools)

Just a few years ago, CIOs—if they were involved in data analytics at all—would run a report, export it into an Excel document and share it with teachers and district leaders once a week or at the end of each semester. Now it’s all about creating systems that aggregate and sort data automatically, making it easier for educators to view crucial information every day

Cathy Boshamer is the director of special services for Spartanburg District 5 in South Carolina.
The Office of Special Education Programs revised its accountability operation in 2014 to shift the balance from a system focused on compliance to one that emphasizes results. The new framework has been a breath of fresh air, especially for those of us working in special education.
More data privacy bills are expected to be signed into law by the end of the year.

Laws already passed in 2016 focus on data governance, transparency and leadership.

Google rejects assertions that it has violated student data privacy rules.

In December, a nonprofit digital rights group filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Google is using its ubiquitous access to educational devices to mine student data so it can better target advertising at students.

In this objective look into a subject that has generated much debate, Ovid K. Wong and Chak Lau examine critical elements in preparing teachers and decision-makers for the tenure application process.
Gregory Firn has been a superintendent and a deputy superintendent, and has had educational leadership roles in Texas, North Carolina, Connecticut, Washington and Nevada, and overseas.

Leadership is never more critical than when creating and sustaining a data-centric learning culture, as Lane Mills advises in a white paper on how districts can access and integrate data to make informed, proactive decisions.

Between 9,000 and 10,000 schools, mostly in rural areas, do not have high-speed internet connections. (Click map to enlarge)

High-speed internet access increased substantially in classrooms over the past two years. But 21 million students, many in rural areas, remain without reliable broadband connections in the classroom, according to the “2015 State of the States” report from the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway.

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