NEWS & TRENDS: The Role of Leadership in Protecting Student Data

Every school district employee shares responsibility for protecting student data, but a leadership champion is needed to build and sustain a data privacy program. However, leaders are often not close enough to the details to be able to assess the effectiveness of existing privacy protections. Usually, it is the CTO/CIO who first raises the alert that the system is too outdated to support current responsibilities and requirements. Compliance is a “top-down, bottom-up” function, which means that leadership needs to champion the efforts, set the expectations, and then empower the employees responsible for the work to determine the details. No matter how skilled, knowledgeable, passionate, or persistent school district employees are in building and attending to a student data privacy compliance program, the work simply cannot succeed without a leadership champion. Provide the support your leadership needs to understand existing risks as you do, and give them the road map to elevate your school system to a better place.