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Each and every day, educators collect and use data about students, staff, and schools. Some of these data originate in individual student and staff records that are confidential or otherwise sensitive. And even those data that are a matter of public record, such as aggregate school enrollment, need to be accessed, presented, and used in an ethically responsible manner. While laws set the legal parameters that govern data use, ethics establish fundamental principles of "right and wrong" that are critical to the appropriate management and use of education data in the technology age. This guide reflects the experience and judgment of experienced data managers; while there is no mandate to follow these principles, the authors hope that the contents will prove a useful reference to others in their work. Part I introduces the concept of data ethics in the field of education and describes the document's purpose, intended audience, and layout and design conventions. Part II presents the Forum Code of Data Ethics through real-world examples (vignettes) and explanatory text (discussion). Appendices include: (A) Related Resources; (B) Sample Whistleblower Protection Policy; (C) Memoranda of Understanding and Other Data Use Agreements; and (D) Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Individual sections contain footnotes. (Contains 1 figure.)

Descriptors: Data, Data Collection, Student Records, Information Utilization, Ethics, Privacy, Administrator Responsibility, Educational Principles, Best Practices, School Role, Perspective Taking, Access to Information, Politics of Education, Confidentiality

National Forum on Education Statistics. 1990 K Street NW Room 9095, Washington, DC 2006. Fax: 202-502-7475; Web site:

Autor: National Forum on Education Statistics


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