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Eye On Boise

House panel wants study of student data collection

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A House legislative panel is recommending creating a work group to scrutinize governmental data collection on Idaho students and find ways to reduce it. The House Education Committee unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday that would form a task force to determine which information is needed to track academic achievement in schools and which information is not. Republican Rep. Lynn Luker of Boise said he is concerned about the growing amount of data being collected on Idaho students in recent years. Over the years, state and federal agencies have collected information such as birthdays or social security numbers, he said.

The information, known as data points, has increased from 400 to 566 items in recent years, Luker said. When pressed for a specific timeframe, Luker didn't have the information, but said it was in the last "couple of years." "The best security is to not collect the data," Luker said. "We want to make sure that we collect meaningful data — not data that is just there." The plan also calls for the work group to examine what information should be collected on the individual level and which should be collected aggregately. The measure, HCR 3, now heads to the full House.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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