Is student data sharing really necessary?

An editorial from The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — As much as 80 percent of the controversial federal “Common Core” education standards match state guides in effect for years, members of the West Virginia Board of Education were told last week. Much of what is changing with state adoption of Common Core makes sense, many educators say.

That may put many Mountain State parents more at ease with the standards. They are not a wholesale change forced on us by Washington.

But valid concerns about Common Core remain – and state officials should not shirk from dealing with them.

One major complaint is the Common Core program’s requirement for extensive sharing of data about students and, by extension, their parents.

Some sharing of information among states certainly is beneficial. It helps educators learn what works in teaching and what does not.

But both state school board members and legislators should take a close look at the Common Core requirements for sharing. Do they delve too deeply into personal information not really needed to improve curricula and teaching methods?

If so, West Virginia should not go along.

State Sen. Donna Boley, R-Pleasants, is concerned about data sharing. Among other measures, she wants to create a committee to study the matter. Her fellow lawmakers should do just that.

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