An internal review at Portland State University has found that a research project that gathered data from public K-12 school computers violated federal law.

As first reported by WW this winter, professors at the Graduate School of Education improperly asked student teachers in public school classrooms across Portland to collect and analyze demographic information and test scores ("Invasion of Privacy," WW, March 7, 2018).

The university now concedes the project did not have proper authorization to use the data, and probably violated the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that protects student data.

"We're taking this very, very seriously," says Marvin Lynn, dean of the education school. "Safeguarding data is very important. We'll have ongoing training to ensure these errors don't happen again."

A university spokesman says the 10 school districts affected by the research project have been notified of the violation.