Weekly NewsBriefs 6/6/22 - 6/12/22
NYC Education Dept. bans widely-used online gradebook after security breach – By Michael Elsen-Rooney, N.Y. Daily News
The New York City Education Department is barring city public schools from continuing to contract with the company behind a widely-used online gradebook after the program suffered a major data breach that exposed the personal data of more than 800,000 students.
DOE officials had already raised some red flags about cybersecurity protocols at the California-based Illuminate Education, the company behind the widely-used Skedula and PupilPath platforms following the investigation of the January security breach, but hadn’t previously barred the product in city schools.
But in an email to principals Tuesday, DOE First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg said, “based on reviews of matters related to Illuminate’s security posture and response to the incident... we are directing all schools to cease using any Illuminate products and services after June 30, 2022.”
Skedula and PupilPath are used in hundreds of city schools to track grades and attendance and communicate with parents. The platforms abruptly shut down in January, prompting concerns of a hack.
But it wasn’t until March that education officials revealed the massive scale of the breach, which affected personal information of roughly 820,000 current and former students and may be the single largest student data breach in U.S. history.
Secretary Cardona Lays Out Vision to Support and Elevate the Teaching Profession – From US Department of Education
During an address asystem across the country. He also will highlight the work the Department has done to support teachers since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration and share his own experience and perspective as a former teacher, principal, and school administrator. In addition to Secretary Cardona’s visit, the Department is releasing a fact sheet on how American Rescue Plan (ARP) fund investments in our nation’s educators can be sustained for the long-term using other existing sources of federal funds.
"A great teacher in every classroom is one of the most important resources we can give our children to recover from this pandemic and thrive," said Secretary Cardona. "Yet, even before the pandemic, many states and communities experienced shortages in qualified teachers, including in critical areas such as special education, bilingual education, career and technical education, and science, technology, engineering, and math education. The pandemic has only served to make these shortages worse—falling hardest on students in underserved communities. It’s not only our responsibility but our commitment at the Department of Education to encourage, invest in, and lift up teachers across America. The future of our country and our children’s futures depend on it."
Secretary Cardona’s vision will focus on three areas:
- Recruiting diverse, high-qualified teachers into the profession and investing in high-quality teacher pipeline programs
- Supporting educators’ professional development to ensure our nation’s students are receiving high-quality education to meet the demands of today’s economy
- Investing in strategies to retain high-quality educators and keep them in the profession long-term.