About TEC Student Data Privacy Alliance

History of MSPA

Started in Cambridge Public Schools by Steve Smith, CIO Cambridge Public Schools, in 2015, the MSPA launched a service to provide districts a way to tackle these difficult privacy issues. Partnering with Steve Smith, TEC launched an alliance that was created to:

  1. Provide districts with shared access to training, administrative support and expert legal counsel;
  2. Leverage our collective influence with vendors to protect student data; and
  3. Accelerate and expand the adoption of a common student data privacy agreement used by all member schools.

Student Data Privacy Consortium Member

About the TEC Student Data Privacy Alliance

Established in 1968, The Education Cooperative (TEC) is a Massachusetts DESE approved educational collaborative and 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. TEC develops and coordinates educational and organizational programs to meet the needs of our member communities and their students and promotes inter-district collaboration that strengthens all participants and offers the opportunity to do more than one district can do individually.

The TEC Student Data Privacy Alliance is a successful collaborative service model developed to provide schools and districts with administrative and legal support to negotiate privacy terms with their software vendors. Our service was launched in 2017 in response to the needs of the Technology Directors of the TEC member districts. Many had attempted to secure signed Data Privacy Agreements (DPAs) for the online resources in use at their districts but found that without dedicated administrative
resources and adequate funding for legal services, it proved to be an expensive and time-consuming struggle that yielded mixed results.

We recognized that by working together, we could achieve internal economies of scale and leverage our negotiating strength by collaborating to outsource these specialized tasks and processes. In cooperation with the Student Data Privacy Consortium, TEC has developed a consolidated 5-state DPA for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont which articulates the vendor duties and responsibilities required to protect student data in compliance with all applicable federal and state privacy statutes including FERPA, PPRA, COPPA, 603 C.M.R. 23.00 and MA General Law Chapter 71, Sections 34D to 34H.

Today, our annual service provides over 288+ districts in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont with expert legal counsel and experienced contract administrators. To date we have over 1,700 signed vendor agreements in place and over 26,000 posted DPAs/Exhibit Es and when you join the TEC SDP Alliance you can immediately access these to jump-start protection for your district’s students.

A special thanks to our TEC Technology Directors and Steering Committee members for all the leadership and support they provide.

TEC Technology Directors

TEC SDPA Steering Committee

  • Emily Parks - Executive Director, The Education Cooperative
  • Ramah Hawley - Director, TEC SDPA, The Education Cooperative
  • Cynthia Tougas - SDPA Support Coordinator, The Education Cooperative
  • Don Langenhorst, Director of Technology, Dedham, MA Public Schools
  • Ashoke Ghosh, Director of Technology, Hopkinton, MA Public Schools
  • Eoin O'Corcora - Director of Technology, Medfield, MA Public Schools
  • Dennis Roche - Technology Director, Natick, MA Public Schools
  • Leisha Simon - Director of Technology , Wayland, MA Public Schools
  • Steve Ouellette - Director of Technology, Learning, and Innovation, Westwood, MA Public Schools

Working together with TEC on obtaining Student Data Privacy Agreements has significantly improved our rate of success. It has also saved us a tremendous amount of time. Having the support of specific point people such as TEC's Data Privacy Specialist Ramah Hawley and TEC's hired attorney Felicia Vasudevan is instrumental in our success in obtaining the agreements.

Melissa Quinn
Administrative Assistant to Technology Director, Dedham Public Schools

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