Example Of Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Students, Education, School, Record, Information, Workplace, Government, Confidentiality

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/10

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FERPA

The issue of how to handle student records and information is something every school must address, and cannot neglect their duties. The federal government places strict laws on the handling of student information and schools need to have certain policies and procedures in place. All educational record handling must be in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law. Currently, it has been noted that record keeping is very lax in the school, and it has been pointed out that teachers may be discussing confidential information covered under FERPA. As a result, new procedures and awareness about these regulations will have to be instituted to comply with both the state of Texas and the federal government.
This leads to the issue of what exactly determines a student’s educational record. According to the law, certain directory information does not qualify as being part of the education record. This includes things like name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors, awards, and dates of attendance. These may all be disclosed without penalty (“Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act”).
There are two primary standards when considering what a student’s educational record actually is. First, the record must have information directly related to a certain student. Second, it must be maintained by the educational agency or institution. This also applies to any person acting for this agency. This includes grades and transcripts, as well as any other information directly related the student’s academic record. These records may not be shared with anyone other than the exceptions listed above. Teachers are not encouraged to discuss direct student grades or discipline with anyone else, unless it is in the best academic interest of the student to do so (“FERPA and access to public records”).
However, there have been several court cases which have helped further define what educational records are to remain confidential. In the case Owasso Independent School District v Falvo, a US district judge rule that students grading each other’s papers does not violate FERPA. There was some controversy regarding this case, as it was overturned in the Appellate Court, but the Supreme Court reversed it to the original decision. Students may see other student’s grade when in the context of peer grading because these were not deemed to be upheld by the school. Only records directly maintained and carried out by the school are subject to this policy (“Owasso Independent School Dist.”).
An important principle in understanding FERPA is that it only applies to information directly kept by the school. For this reason, teachers can still be allowed to have students evaluate each other. However, another issue of debate around FERPA is the use of student information by school organizations or newspapers. An Arizona judge ruled in 2011 that the Arizona Republic newspaper was allowed to examine emails from a community college student because these records were not maintained directly by the school. Furthermore, student media outlets, such as a school newspaper, are allowed to publish things like grades or disciplinary records if they attain them without accessing the official education record. These are all further implications of the Owasso case and show that the primary concern of the school is maintaining the one copy of a student’s educational record, which most likely consists of the gradebook or transcripts (“FERPA and access to public records”).
The last area of interest related to FERPA and the school is disciplinary records and employment. The courts have determined that employment records are subject to state laws, not FERPA, so the school will go along with the current state legislation regarding employment information reporting. The only exception is a work-study type job open to only a few students. FERPA has deemed that school disciplinary records may not be released and are protected, unless a major violent felony occurred. This means that disciplinary records cannot be released to any person, staff or otherwise, unless it is in the best academic interest of the student. However, vehicle records or parking tickets have been deemed not an academic or educational issue, therefore the school does not have to worry about FERPA on minor vehicle infractions (”FERPA and access to public records”).
In conclusion, it is the schools job to accurately maintain records and keep these items confidential. Teachers are the primary guardians of the gradebook and official academic records, and misuse of this power violates federal law. Therefore, it is the role of this school to keep track of student progress, and to not discuss the matters in an informal setting. Records should be up-to-date at all times, so constant feedback on student performance is available. Unless discussing an issue is in the best academic interest of the student, it best to error on the side of caution and not disclose direct student educational record information.

References

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2015, from http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
FERPA and access to public records. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2015, from http://cdn.spl.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/ferpa_wp.pdf
OWASSO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DIST. NO. I011 v. FALVO. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2015, from http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2001/2001_00_1073

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"Example Of Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act Research Paper." WePapers, Nov 10, 2020. Accessed July 24, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-family-educational-rights-and-privacy-act-research-paper/
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"Example Of Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act Research Paper," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 10-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-family-educational-rights-and-privacy-act-research-paper/. [Accessed: 24-Jul-2021].
Example Of Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act Research Paper. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-family-educational-rights-and-privacy-act-research-paper/. Published Nov 10, 2020. Accessed July 24, 2021.
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