Photo: Kevin Ku / Pexels

Back in January, the software Illuminate Education, which the Department of Education uses to track grades and attendance, was hacked. Illuminate Education runs familiar platforms like IO Classroom, Skedula and Pupilpath. This breach gave hackers access to 820,000 current and former NYC public school students’ names, birthdays, ethnicities, and other information. Fortunately, social security numbers and family financial information were not collected. Banks called for city, state, and federal investigations into the breach, expressing his outrage about the lack of standard critical safeguards in a New York Post story. 

The DOE has maintained its contract with the company and many teachers are still using it as a means to connect with parents. Schools use the platforms to keep track of grades and attendance, which caused problems in January when the hack happened. Teachers were unable to keep track of students exposed to Covid-19, and some teachers said that homework completion numbers decreased due to Skedula being offline. Advocates who have been worried about student privacy when it comes to the DOE are especially concerned and want the vendor fined and the contract terminated. The company says that it has already taken important steps to help prevent the incident from happening again.

Nicole Perrino is the founder of, a hyperlocal website for Bronx families where she use her influence to celebrate the beauty that the Bronx has to offer. In addition to her role at Bronxmama,...

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