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Education Department: Student test data breached in 5 schools

Education Department: Student test data breached in 5 schools

The breach impacted 10 students in Menands along with students in schools in Buffalo, New York City and Long Island.
Education Department: Student test data breached in 5 schools
Photographer: Shutterstock

Testing data, including personal information, for 52 students in five schools across the state was breached in the last month, state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said Thursday.

The breach impacted 10 students in Menands along with students in schools in Buffalo, New York City and Long Island.

The state's private testing contractor, Questar Assessment, told state officials they suspected a former employee had viewed the student data between Dec. 30 and Jan. 2. The breached data included student names, schools, teacher names and identification numbers.

The breach came as the state started a gradual shift to computer-based testing. The breached data originated from students who took the annual 3-8 math and English language arts state assessments on computers. Nearly 70,000 students took computer-based tests last year, most of which were field tests that don't count as real scores.

The Education Department, which has referred the breach to the Attorney General's Office, has demanded Questar reset passwords, hire an independent part to conduct a security audit by Feb. 20 and submit a corrective action plan to state officials by Jan. 26.

Here are the districts were student data was breached, according to the Education Department:

  • 10 students in Menands 
  • 21 students in Great Neck 
  • 10 students in Oceanside
  • 10 students in District 29 in Queens
  • 1 student in the Roman Catholic Buffalo Diocese
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