FERPA Shield: Oregon has become the latest school to hide behind FERPA, refusing to release information about possible NCAA violations by the mens’ basketball team. Schools assume an incredibly broad interpretation of “educational records” to block information they don’t want made public. My favorite interpretation of the law is from Alabama. The Crimson Tide proudly announce the names of players they sign, but feel releasing the total number of players on scholarship would be a privacy violation. [Register Guard]
“It is clear the O stands for Opague” (Link) It sure would be cool to see our local media basically copy & paste this article into some local publications.
You should read the whole article…and feel free to substitute some a school who shall note be named for Oregon.
But what about the law’s sponsor?
Former U.S. Sen. James L. Buckley said his intent 37 years ago was to allow parents access to their children’s academic records — we’re talking report cards, transcripts and behavioral evaluations — and to shield those records from others. He never imagined how the interpretation would evolve.
“One thing I have noticed,” Buckley said during a telephone interview Thursday, “is a pattern where the universities and colleges have used it as an excuse for not giving out any information they didn’t want to give.”
And Buckley added: “Based on what I believe to be extreme misinterpretations of (the law) by colleges and universities, if I was still in the Senate, I would long ago have introduced amendments to the bill to get rid of the kind of (issue).”
None of which matters, in the end. Never mind the law’s intent, Oregon has chosen its preferred interpretation, which is consistent with the school’s generally closed approach, through the years, to open-records requests.
The default has been delay, or deny. Or delay and then deny.