This Inside Higher Ed piece by Libby Nelson explains the new push in Washington to create a national student database that would track students through college and into the work force. The idea, sometimes referred to as a “unit record data,” was originally proposed by the Bush Administration in 2005, but critics, citing student privacy concerns, were able to kill it.
“In the past seven years, the voices calling for a unit record system have only intensified; there is now a near-consensus that a unit record system would be a boon for higher education policy makers, by tracking the flow of individual students into and out of colleges.”
A similar student privacy debate is playing out again. See this opinion piece opposing a new database, arguing, in part, that prospective employers could request to see these new student records. This blog post argues that this kind of student privacy criticism is “moot” because employers can already request to see transcripts.