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Wilton's Rep. Lavielle Votes To Protect Privacy Of Student Data

State Rep. Gail Lavielle is standing against a movement to monitor and document students.
State Rep. Gail Lavielle is standing against a movement to monitor and document students. Photo Credit: File

WILTON, Conn. -- State Rep. Gail Lavielle is standing against a movement to monitor and document students. 

Lavielle, who represents Wilton, Norwalk and Westport in the state House, recently voted against a bill in a meeting of the General Assembly’s Higher Education Committee. House Bill 5831 that would "require the University of Connecticut to participate in the state’s 'P20 WIN' data system, which aims to monitor and document student success from early childhood through and after college," according to a release.

Lavielle said the bill omitted language present in its original version that would have protected the anonymity of student data, according to the release. 

Lavielle said her concern over the bill’s tracking measures was based on the removal of the phrase “none of which may contain personally identifiable information” from language describing the data collected. 

“Data collection is fine for measuring the effectiveness of our education system, but it must never threaten the privacy of our students,” Lavielle said. “While the goals of this bill – ensuring that student grant funds are being effectively spent, for example – are laudable, I cannot support the bill as written, particularly since it leaves open the questions of exactly what data will be collected and who will have access to it. I particularly want to know why the language mandating anonymity was removed from the original bill.

“Many parents have told me they are worried about how their children are being tracked in school,” Lavielle continued. “They want to make sure that personally identifiable information about their children is not available to the wrong parties. The removal of language requiring that the P20 WIN data be unidentifiable is disturbing, and I cannot support the bill without language ensuring privacy protection.”

The bill is expected to move forward for consideration by the full House and Senate. Lavielle is seeking to amend the bill by restoring the bill’s original privacy protection language.

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