On November 15, 2021, the Upper Midwest Law Center sent a letter inquiring into the Minnesota Office of Higher Education’s “Get Ready” program, which is supposedly designed to prepare Minnesota students for college. A copy of the letter is available here.
UMLC is concerned that the survey may violate student rights under state and federal law, including the federal Pupil Protection Rights Amendment (PPRA) to the Federal Electronic Rights Privacy Act. UMLC has therefore asked the OHE’s General Counsel to answer key questions to determine whether the survey complies with Minnesota and federal law.
Based on documents provided by the OHE, this survey asks minor students about the following sensitive topics, and UMLC has no evidence that parents are informed about the survey by its administrators:
- Racial Identity
- Ethnic Identity
- Sexual Orientation Identity
- Gender Identity
- Ability Identity
- Religion/Spirituality Identity
- Nationality Identity
- Socioeconomic Status Identity
- Age Identity
But even if parents are informed about the survey, it is unclear how asking 5th through 9th grade students these questions achieves any OHE purpose outlined in state statutes or rules. UMLC has now given the OHE an opportunity to explain how the survey complies with the law to avoid further investigation or a lawsuit.