ECOT wants records back, says state violated student privacy

From The Columbus Dispatch A week after the state’s largest charter school turned over thousands of records to the state, it now wants some of them back.

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is accusing the Ohio Department of Education of criminal invasion of privacy that, it argues, puts hundreds of students’ identities at risk.

A letter from ECOT to the education department’s legal counsel accuses the department of violating state law in regards to the removal of student records from the school’s custody -- even though ECOT itself provided the records.

ECOT attorney Marion Little says the department has copied and removed more than 1,000 records containing student identifying information. This, he argues, violates state law that says the department shall not have access to records that matches information to personally identifiable student data.

“The department’s attacks against ECOT have been out of bounds, but this is a dangerous, new low,” said ECOT lobbyist Neil Clark. “ECOT will do everything it can to protect its students from the department’s reckless and unlawful actions.”

The records are part of an ongoing battle between ECOT and the department over how to audit the school’s attendance. That student count that would be used to determine if the school was properly paid for the 2015-16 school year, when ECOT got about $106 million in state funds.

Continue Reading>>