The U.S. Department of Education recently released new regulations that updated FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) due to changes in legislation and new technology trends. The governmental guidebook is a bit confusing and long, but a summary can be found at The Wired Campus, and Inside Higher ED. I am always surprised to meet academics who are not familiar with FERPA, or only have the most basic understanding of it. Students and their parents also seem to have very little knowledge of FERPA, and this is too bad since FERPA was set up to protect student privacy. I always think about FERPA at this time of the year when I receive emails and phone calls from parents who would like to know what grades their kids received in my classes. I have noticed that this year, when I explain to them that I cannot legally give them that information, they seem to be more insistent that since they pay the bills they deserve this information. Is this due to the economy or a change in our culture?