History of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
On 21 August 1974, FERPA, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was signed by President Ford into law and was scheduled to take effect as of November 19, that same year. FERPA was also called Buckley Amendment after its sponsor James Buckley. The policy was signed to give students direct access to their education records (“Legislative History of Major FERPA Provisions”, 2020). FERPA also addressed the challenges faced by learners, parents, teachers, and learning institutions. The main emphasis of FERPA is to allow learners aged 18 and above to access their education information without involving third parties
Congress reviewed FERPA nine times in 28 years since its enactment. These amendments include, 1974 Amendment of Buckley and Pell, 1978 Education Amendments, 1979 Department of Education establishment, 1990 law on Security of Campus students amendments of laws governing higher education in 1992, amendments in 1994to improve schools, amendments to prevent sex crimes in university in 2001, and the 2001 USA Patriot Act (“Legislative History of Major FERPA Provisions”, 2020). Federal law impacts FERPA by funding learning institutions that are under the Family Policy Compliance Office in the Education Department of the U.S.
Stakeholders Impacted by FERPA
The stakeholders impacted by the policy include policymakers, students, parents, and education officials. Although FERPA usually does not allow third parties to access learners’ education records, it has some exceptions. it authorizes lawmakers to access the education records if they need to present them a presentation to non-education agencies arises. FERPA also tasks policymakers to balance between learners’ privacy and the collection and use of data (Jones, 2013). Moreover, it enables parents to inspect their children’s performance and keep records of their educational information, including, files, documents, and other records. FERPA has impacted the key stakeholders by giving restrictions and assigning tasks.
Goals of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act has various goals. One of them is to ensure the privacy of learners’ education records. According to Legislative History of Major FERPA Provisions (2020), the policy obligates every school to annually notify its learners of their rights. Including the right to their education records’ privacy, to take part in amending records, to sue schools for not following FERPAs guidelines, and do not allow third-parties to access their education records. That way, the students’ records privacy are kept.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act aims at including every learner in the amendment of the education record. In accordance with the Legislative History of Major FERPA Provisions (2020), the policy has an annual goal of reviewing its sections that have not been followed. These parts are those that may not be considerate to parents, teachers, learners’ rights, and institutions’ regulation. Moreover, the law seeks to make sure colleges and universities abide by state and federal laws to ensure learners’ rights are not infringed (“Legislative History of Major FERPA Provisions”, 2020). The policy issues relevant steps to be followed by non-education agencies before accessing learners’ education records to achieve the main aim of protecting learners’ privacy.
Jones, K. (2013). Learning analytics & FERPA: Issues of student privacy and new boundaries of student data. Proceedings of The American Society For Information Science And Technology, 50(1), 1-5. doi: 10.1002/meet.14505001127
Legislative History of Major FERPA Provisions. (2020). Retrieved 1 September 2020, from https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/leg-history.html