Partnership with Washington State to Create Public Use Data

NORC at the University of Chicago will pilot a study of the feasibility of establishing a technical assistance center with two primary purposes: (a) to greatly expand access to the rapidly growing longitudinal databases on student academic performance now being compiled by virtually all states, and (b) to mitigate the burden on the states of responding to researcher requests for these data in a manner that meets the stringent standards set by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99).

The pilot feasibility study would focus on creating complex samples of longitudinal data that employ data masking techniques. Thus, the risk of identifying students and families is minimized. The end goal of the larger project is to make state data FERPA compliant and available to researchers, while allowing inferences to be made about the full population of students.

The purpose of this part of the administrative data effort is to build prototype applications in data products and data services where NORC currently has more limited visibility and capacity but has the technical expertise and tools to make substantial investments.  

These two areas are (1) disclosure protected analytic data products through the Data Enclave and query-based tabulator for output de-identification procedures developed for The Survey of Earned Doctorates and (2) extant record linkage software and their functionality and consequence. In both cases, we have substantial subject matter expertise and projects in place that use some of current capacity.  

Our goal is to build some visible prototypes as well document the process used to develop and implement the application. The process documents will provide proposal writers a method for describing these new functionalities.   

Deliverables will include example data products and white paper describing findings.