Letter to Secretary DeVos Urges Education Department to Protect Federal Regulations Related to Privacy, Equity, and Transparency

Published Oct 06, 2017


Late last month, 24 PostsecData members and partners sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as public comment on the Education Department’s review of existing federal regulations.

The Department of Education (ED) was tasked with establishing a Regulatory Review Task Force under Executive Order 13777 this past January, the goal of which would be to establish which regulations should be modified, repealed, or replaced. With a focus on how federal regulations contribute to better postsecondary data, the Postsecondary Data Collaborative made a statement on the value of consumer information and civil rights in higher education, sending a clear message to ED and providing targeted input on specific items in need of protection throughout the review process.

The letter acknowledges the value of streamlining some regulations but goes on to point out the vital importance of many others. PostsecData identified key provisions governing the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, and outlined the benefits that publicly available data provide consumers in the higher education marketplace. With the recognition that these data are imperfect, they nevertheless remain the most comprehensive source of information available for students and other consumers, barring the creation of a student-level data network.

The letter further highlights the value of regulations that protect student privacy while still providing transparency for taxpayers, and expresses support for regulations that require data collections to demonstrate compliance with anti-discrimination laws. These regulations and the data they make available are invaluable to informed decision-making for students, and crucial for policymakers to see that the higher education system in the United States works for all Americans.

View the PDF to read the full letter.