As you are well aware, data privacy has been high on the radar of the American public in the wake of the National Security Agency disclosures. An echo of that concern has been ricocheting around the education world, as well, with some people worrying about how the two federally funded assessment consortia will gather and use student data as their member states administer tests to the vast majority of K-12 students in the country.
"The key principle here is that states own the data, and will continue to own it," Willhoft told me in a phone call after the vote. "Smarter Balanced doesn't get the data from states and do whatever it wants to with it. Anything we do, we have to have states' permission to do."