KUOW obtained a copy of the two-year agreement between the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and The Seattle Times, signed last month, which authorizes eight Times journalists to work with, but not publish, confidential student and staff information, including names and Social Security numbers.
“Wow,” said Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda. “I wasn’t aware of [this agreement], and I don’t think any of my staff was aware that this was being considered and approved.”
“This is really disconcerting for us, because we’ve been assuring families that we are really mindful about following [data privacy] rules,” Banda said.
The contract outlines measures the Times must take to secure confidential data it receives, including allowing OSPI to inspect Times facilities and requiring any confidential information to be returned or destroyed when the contract expires.
One sour note – KUOW did not explain the “grant-funded” Education Lab project at Seattle Times is thru the Gates Foundation.