The Great FERPA Debate

Are students’ privacy rights overly protected, or are do they need even stronger protections? A few weeks ago, educational consultant and attorney Steven Roy Goodman made the case on the Pope Center site that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) unwisely permits students to conceal their grades from parents and, even worse, prevents school officials from letting parents and safety officials know of students’ unstable behavior.

John Locke Foundation director of legal and regulatory studies Daren Bakst saw things differently, and felt strongly enough to write an impassioned response to Goodman’s article. Bakst says that FERPA needs to be strengthened to protect students’ private records from new infringements on their rights. Bakst then graciously agreed to let Goodman have the last word.

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