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The Toolbox

Common Education Data Standards

U.S. Department of Education


The Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) project is an initiative by the U.S. Department of Education to construct and disseminate a collection of common data standards for all levels of education. The data standards are intended for use by education institutions and in State Longitudinal Data Systems.  The information available from the CEDS website is helpful for understanding how education data are stored.

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Council on Law in Higher Education



The Council on Law in Higher Education maintains a useful website for those interested in a variety of aspects of higher education, including FERPA and student privacy. The organization recently published “Protecting Personally Identifiable Information: A Guide for College and University Administrators,” which is available to order from the CLHE website.


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Data Stewardship: Managing Personally Identifiable Information in Student Education Records

National Center for Education Statistics


This technical brief is part of a series of briefs written by NCES to support State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), and others in understanding and complying with data security and privacy regulations in the implementation of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDSs). This brief focuses on best practices for data storage and security.

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Electronic Privacy Information Center



The Electronic Privacy Information Center website, epic.org, is full of information about the organization’s initiatives to strengthen student privacy protections. Note that the materials on EPIC’s website often advocate a particular viewpoint, and are not unbiased information sources.


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Family Policy Compliance Office Website

U.S. Department of Education


The Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) was created through authority provided in FERPA that charged the Department of Education with the responsibility for enforcing FERPA, providing for an administrative process for filing complaints related to violations of FERPA, and supplying FERPA resources. The office issues letters on various topics relating to FERPA that are a helpful resource.


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Inside Higher Ed

Focus on Education Technology


Inside Higher Ed is a well-known and respected source of news and information on issues affecting higher education. This website focuses specifically on education technology, including topics related to student privacy, data governance, and many other issues.



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The Forum Guide to Data Ethics Online Course (2010)

National Forum on Education Statistics


This online course introduces ethical principles for the handling of education data.  The course covers nine canons of education data ethics, including two canons specifically covering privacy of education data. This resource may be helpful in providing a broader context for understanding the implications for the use or misuse of education data.

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Privacy Technical Assistance Center

U.S. Department of Education


The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) was established by Federal law to respond to a growing need for high-quality information about data governance and privacy. The PTAC website contains an abundance of resources related to FERPA, including model forms, instructional videos, and case studies.


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Privacy Toolkit

American Library Association


The focus of this toolkit if the development of a privacy policy and procedures for libraries, but it also contains helpful background information on privacy terms and issues.




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