Thursday, February 17, 2022

DOE absurdly claims that their refusal to report on vaccination rates is due to privacy concerns

UPDATE: the DOE finally released school-wide vaccination rates on Feb. 25, about two months after this data reporting was legally due.  You can download the spreadsheet here, or look up the name of your school here 

Finally, a media outlet covers the fact that NYC DOE is violating the law when it comes to their refusal to report on student vaccination rates overall and by school.  As Christina Veiga of Chalkbeat writes,

How many New York City public school students are vaccinated?

Education department officials won’t say, even though they use those statistics to determine how many students to test for COVID at each school. The city has not provided school-level vaccination rates despite a City Council law that requires the department to do so. The city also missed its Wednesday deadline in responding to Chalkbeat’s public records request for the data.

That information is particularly relevant now, as Gov. Kathy Hochul weighs whether to end school mask mandates. A decision is expected in early March, and vaccination rates are one of the factors Hochul has said she will consider.

We wrote about the fact that the DOE refuses to release this mandated data according to Local Law 152 last Sunday.

 DOE claims to Chalkbeat that the delay is due to student privacy concerns:

New York City education department officials said they are making sure to comply with any student privacy laws before releasing school-level vaccination information. “This is sensitive data and we are currently working to balance transparency with the privacy of our students prior to the release of this data,” said education department spokesperson Nathaniel Styer.

As a privacy advocate who co-founded the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy seven years ago, I can safely say that this is an absurd excuse, as vaccination rates contain NO personally identifiable student info.  It is especially absurd given how the DOE continues to violate the state student privacy law every day.


No comments: