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ERIC Number: ED514095
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Statistical Methods for Protecting Personally Identifiable Information in Aggregate Reporting. SLDS Technical Brief 3. NCES 2011-603
National Center for Education Statistics
Over the last decade, increased attention on education has led to an expansion in the amount of information on students and their schools and school districts reported to parents and the general public (20 U.S.C. Section 6311). States now report student outcomes based on assessments of student achievement in specific subjects and grade levels for all students, as well as for subgroups defined by gender, race and ethnicity, English proficiency status, migrant status, disability status, and economic status. Typically, the data are reported as the percentage distribution of students in a subgroup across achievement levels. These reports are issued at the state, district, and school levels. Additional outcome measures, such as data on attendance, dropout rates, and graduation rates, are also reported frequently. Individual states have adopted minimum group size reporting rules, with the minimum number of students ranging from 5 to 30 and a modal category of 10 (used by 39 states in the most recent results available on state websites in late winter of 2010). Each state has adopted additional practices to protect personally identifiable information about its students in reported results. These practices include various forms of suppression, top and bottom coding of values at the ends of a distribution, and limiting the amount of detail reported for the underlying counts. This Technical Brief includes a summary of key definitions, a brief discussion of background information, and a review and analysis of current practices to illustrate that some practices work better than others in protecting personally identifiable information reported from student education records. (Contains 15 tables and 6 footnotes.) For Technical Brief 2, "Data Stewardship: Managing Personally Identifiable Information in Electronic Student Education Records," see ED513095.]
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 1974
IES Funded: Yes
IES Cited: ED544778