ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Assembly Standing Committee on Education convened a hearing regarding the storage, use, and costs associated with the disclosure of personally identifiable student information on November 20th, 2013, in Albany, New York. Members of the State Education Department (SED), including the Commissioner of Education, presented testimony on the use and disclosure of student data to third-party vendors to support SED's EngageNY Portal, which is intended to provide access to additional educational resources, materials, and student information. SED has argued that EngageNY Portal's data security and privacy standards, as well as contracts with third-party vendors are compliant with federal law, and that access to the portal will provide personalized instruction to students in a more efficient and secure way. The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA), and superintendents, teachers, and parents also provided testimony at this hearing questioning the contract SED has entered into with inBloom, a nonprofit organization that collects and stores student information. Other concerns were also raised by these organizations and advocates, such as the purpose of collecting student data, which personally identifiable student information was being collected and released, and what the State and third-party vendor plans are to protect student data in the event of a security breach. The Committee on Education is seeking further comments on the effects of collaborating with educational technological support services from inBloom, as well as from other advocates and organizations in a follow-up hearing on February 28, 2014.
Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.
Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.
In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.
Hon. Catherine T. Nolan
Member of Assembly
Committee on Education